The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday formally inaugurated an 11-man committee charged with enforcing a new regulation to guard Nigeria’s fledging electricity industry from expatriate exploitation like it is in some other sensitive sectors of the economy with huge capital investments but little contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment.
The Commission explained that the 11-man advisory board, with membership drawn from engineering, finance services, legal, insurance, education and training, would manage the deployment of the local content regulation across the power sector value chain, adding that the law was a part of the National Electric Power Policy (NEPP) of 2001.
The law, ‘Regulation on National Content Development for the Power Sector,’ developed by NERC in December 2014, is amongst other objectives expected to help Nigerians and local operators gain some level of advantage in the operations of the privatised electricity market.
The Commission however, noted that it did not intend to nationalise the operations of the sector through the regulation, but to create good opportunities for Nigeria to benefit from the contributions of the sector to her national GDP.
Speaking during the event, chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, noted that the regulation envisages that Nigerian companies would be given first-hand considerations for the supply of goods, works and services in the power sector, adding that the advisory board would be funded by the NERC to undertake its responsibilities.
He explained that although the Commission was satisfied with the level of indigenous manpower in the sector, the new board would however, from its Joint Qualification System (JQS), develop an acceptable local content benchmark for operators in the sector, adding that local manufacturing and sourcing of consumer electricity meters would be accorded immediate priority by the Commission and the board.
“The objective of this regulation is not to nationalise the sector but to create opportunities for Nigerians to participate and benefit from the privatisation of the power sector. It is to prevent what obtains in some other sensitive and important sectors of the economy with huge capital investment but little contribution to GDP and employment opportunities,” Amadi said.
Source : Leadership