FG gives NERC marching order on meter installation

The federal government has issued a marching order to the Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Professor James Momoh, to compel the DisCos to ensure urgent, speedy supply and installation of meters in various homes in the country.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, issued the order recently while addressing journalists on the development in the country’s power sector.
According to him, installation of meters would eliminate estimated billing and promote efficient industry and market structures.
Fashola also charged NERC to prevent DisCos from threatening private entrepreneurs from entering the market to supply consumers whom the DisCos cannot supply and to license such persons subject to terms and conditions in order to “promote competition and private sector participation” and avoid a private monopoly of power.
He further directed NERC to step in to ensure that DisCos improve on their distribution equipment and capacity to take up available 2,000MW in order to optimize the use of the electrical resource produced by the GENCOs.
He said: “I direct NERC to immediately act in this regard; enforce the contract of DisCos to supply meters and act to ensure the urgent speedy supply and installation of meters with a view to eliminating estimated billing and promote efficient industry and market structures.
“Stop DisCos from threatening private entrepreneurs from entering the market to supply consumers whom the DisCos cannot supply and to license such persons subject to terms and conditions in order to ‘promote competition and private sector participation’ and avoid a private monopoly of power.” The minister, who rued moves by DisCos to scare other private investors and monopolised electricity distribution, said NERC had not issued any exclusive license to either GENCOs or DisCos to generate or distribute power.
He said: “Unless expressly indicated in the licence, the grant of a license shall not hinder or restrict the grant of a license to another person for a like purpose and, in the absence of such an express indication, the licensee shall not claim any exclusivity, provided the commission may allow a licenced activity to be exclusive for all or part of the period of the licence for a specific purpose, for a geographical area, or for some combination of the foregoing.
“To the best of my knowledge, the commission, NERC, has not issued any exclusive license.
If we take into consideration that after five years of privatization, there are still people and businesses who do not have power or enough power, common sense and public interest demand that we must not resist ordinary people, small businesses like shops and markets from seeking alternative sources of energy.

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