The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has disclosed that a tariff structure to be paid by electricity consumers who would want to get their supplies from the eligible consumers’ policy window would be released soon.
Fashola, said at the March edition of the monthly power sector operators’ meeting in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state, that stakeholders involved in the policy had met to discuss the terms of the tariff. He noted that negotiations on this hadn’t been completed but would soon be.
“While it is no longer news that we have reached a 7,000 megawatts generation capacity and have a 5,000 megawatts distribution capacity, what is newsworthy is that in the last month, we have met with Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Discos, and Gencos on how to implement the eligible customer policy and increase connectivity to the 2,000 megawatts that is available.
“The meeting was productive and we are seeing positive responses. Reports reaching me indicate that what is outstanding is an agreement on the tariffs that will be paid by the eligible customer,” said Fashola.
The minister had explained at the meeting of stakeholders in the eligible customers’ policy which he referenced, that its declaration by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was in line with the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2005, and that opposing it was not in the interest of Nigeria and the power sector.
He also explained that Nigeria needs to channel all the power it is able to generate to major economic points and users to enable her industrialisation efforts gain root.
According to him, oppositions to the regulation have been without realistic reasons as to why it is not right, adding that the meeting will enable all the stakeholders come up with the best ways to implement the regulation.
Also at that meeting then, MAN disclosed that the amount of electricity required by its members to carry out their respective manufacturing operations every day had risen to 14,882 megawatts (MW), most of which it added are self-generated.
MAN equally said that despite the huge power consumption levels of its members, it found it uneconomical that up to 2000 MW of the power the Gencos in Nigeria can generate are stranded because electricity distribution companies (Discos) are unable to evacuate them to points of need.
To this end, it said it would be looking up to the new eligible customers’ regulation to at least cut down its expenses on self-generation of power.
Its President, Dr. Frank Udemba-Jacobs, stated that members of MAN were ready to take up the 2000MW stranded generation capacity in the system. He called on Discos to shelve their alleged selfish interests in opposing the eligible customers’ regulation, and instead consider the overall economic interest of Nigeria in this regard, adding that poor grid power supply has impeded the growth of the country’s manufacturing sector.