New Electricity Act: Stay Away from #NEMSA Mandates, Minister Warns #NERC
The Minister of Power, Sale Mamman has warned the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to stay away from inspection and other mandates of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency ( NEMSA) to avoid further conflict within the sector.
The minister directed that on no account should point loads be connected to 33kV feeders in line with the position of NEMSA and contrary to the counter-directive of NERC.
The minister at a meeting with both agencies in Abuja frowned at efforts by NERC to add inspection and other technical responsibilities of NEMSA to its role, warning that such activities are illegal and contrary to the law setting up the agencies.
Mamman was quoted as affirming that all technical tasks are clearly assigned to NEMSA and that no attempt should be made by NERC to create conflicts by issuing counter directives to the electricity distribution companies.
It would be recalled that NERC is reportedly lobbying National Assembly to strip NEMSA of her technical inspectorate mandates.
This move industry watchers said poses serious threat to the power sector as NERC is attempting to add technical regulations to her economic regulatory mandates which the agency is finding difficult to effectively discharge.
Mamman told the meeting that NEMSA has been discharging her technical regulatory roles effectively and that NERC is barred from doing anythihg to erode the legal mandate of the Chief Electricity Inspector of the Federation as enshrined in enabling law and as is the practice in several countries like Ghana,India and Canada.
The meeting with the Chairman of @NERCNG and MD of @NEMSA_Nigeria was prompted by the conflicting directives to DisCos connecting point load customers to 33kv primary feeder lines.
NEMSA in line with her technical regulatory mandate and citing safety and best practice directed Discos to stop connection to 33kv without sub-stations. NERC however counter-directed the Discos to proceed with such connection.
Industry watchers noted that NERC’s action prompted renewed allegations that NERC is mostly collaborating with the Discos rather than enforcing regulations. They noted that NERC’s crossing into the area of jurisdiction of another agency to protect Discos further buttress the widely held perception among electricity consumers in the country.
The minister on his Twitter handle shed more light on the largely unreported meeting:
“Also In attendance are the Perm Sec of the Ministry Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack and Directors of the Ministry. The Technical Adviser, Strategic Coordination to the HMP, Dr. Nurain Hassan Ibrahim is also attending and anchoring this meeting.
“The HMP emphasised the need for both agencies to adopt a collaborative approach. He restated that H.E, President @MBuhari expects us to work together to achieve the same common goal of serving the Nigerian people by giving them clean, safe, reliable, and affordable electricity.
“Both agencies pledged to work together to resolve any perceived differences amicably, without causing any distress to the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry”, the minister concluded.