From DENNIS MERNYI, Abuja
Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has assured that the commencement of the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM), a new power sector market place targeted at ensuring that all contracts entered into at privatisation will be activated as activities in the electricity market will carry the obligations outlined in the contracts.
The assurance is coming as TEM, which is the most critical milestone in the power reform process since November 1, 2013 when power generation and distribution assets were handed over to the new owners, commenced full operations yesterday.
He expressed hope that the framework of contracts, regulations, market rules, systems and processes will drive the electricity market under TEM.
The milestone, according to Nebo, has never been achieved in the Nigerian electricity supply industry, before now.
The Minister’s Chief of Staff, Prof. Chidi Onyia, who spoke on his behalf disclosed in Abuja that while the benefits of the power sector reform are expected to be gradual due to decades of neglect suffered, the commencement of TEM will increase the performance expectations for all the new market participants and facilitate the much needed market discipline.
“It demonstrates that the power sector is maturing and advancing in the right direction under the right conditions, within the right environment,” he said.
He further stated that under TEM, “all parties pay for services received and are paid for services rendered.” Unlike before, there are consequences for market participants who fail to deliver on contracted services. It is expected that the activation of contracts will lead to market behaviour that will produce sustainable and comprehensive electricity supply to Nigerians.
As it obtains in other electricity markets around the world, tariff will adjust automatically when there are changes in key market inputs such as gas, but within a regulatory framework. Furthermore, tariff adjustments will occur to attract needed investments and NERC, in its role as the power sector regulator, will ensure that there is no abuse of market power or exploitation of its customers.
Onyia explained that the new transitional electricity market will protect electricity consumers from market inefficiencies by ensuring that market contracts are adhered to while liabilities will be allocated to the appropriate contracting parties.
“Unfortunately, over all, Nigerians have been deprived of this necessity for far too long. We urge fellow Nigerians to join us in this reform process by paying their electric bills and to report any fraudulent activity or act of vandalism of their electric power infrastructure to the appropriate authorities.”
Source : SunOnline