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Nigeria: There is a State of Emergency in the Power Sector – NERC

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Daily Trust (Abuja)

Sunday Williams

2 March 2011


If Nigeria with 150 million people could only generate a maximum of 3,800 MW of electricity for all its domestic and industrial use with broken down transformers, and the likes, then there is already a state of emergency in the sector, the Chairman/CEO of National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Dr Sam Amadi has said.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja at a round table with stakeholders in the electricity industry, the NERC chairman said that with all the attendant problems in the sector, “You don’t need to declare emergency with an executive order. This is natural emergency.”

He said: “There is an emergency in the electricity sector. If for example a country with 150 million people could only generate maximum 3800 MW for all its domestic and industrial use, if some consumers or constituencies don’t have light because transformer has broken down for one day, 24 hours they don’t have light, is an emergency considering our aspirations to be one of the leading economies in the world by 2020 which is just 8 years from now.”

He said the power roadmap clearly shows an understanding of the emergency because it brings a large scale of finance mobilization with the sale of distributions and generations companies. Amadi said that in order to solve the problem in the sector, the power plants have to be fixed and at the same time expand and increase the reliability of the transmission grid and to have the distribution companies capable of supplying services and collecting revenue.

He said: “You have to have a cost reflective tariff to encourage further investments so you have to have a tariff that people could afford. Several things have to be done but the bottom line is clear thinking and courageous commitments to do that which is selfless and for the benefit of the people.”

He said that the main essence of the meeting is to bring stakeholders to embrace commitments to improving electricity supply as a people’s issue.

“We want to say that this is not about NERC, about the Presidency or about the Ministry of Power or Barth Nnaji. It’s about the Nigerian people. We should embrace commitments to improving electricity supply as a people’s issue. For example, after this meeting, if people understand that there is a need for increase in tariffs, it is easier to sell that increase than when you sit in your office and do mathematical calculations and come out with tariffs which the people have no understanding about the rationale then there will be great shock and certain push back against those policies,” he said.

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Nigeria: There is a State of Emergency in the Power Sector – NERC

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