EPILEPTIC POWER: Gencos in fresh row with Federal Government

Another battle seems brewing in the power sector as the generating companies (Gencos) have vowed to resist a new government policy directing consumers of electricity in Nigeria to buy power directly from various firms, generating energy.
However, the current arrangement only allows the Gencos to channel power to the national grid, via the existing 12 electricity distribution companies (Discos), which deliver to end-users.
To the Gencos, nothing will make the policy work.
But irn a statement on Friday, by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “eligible customers’ regime,” NERC said the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, had given his blessing to a new power management regime that would ease off the logjam plaquing the sector.
The statement, signed by NERC’s Head of Public Affairs, Dr. Usman Arabi, said the policy is in line with the legal framework backing privatisation of the power sector.
It refers to the provisions of Section 27 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 (EPSRA), adding that “the new directive represents a major policy programme, which now grants electricity consumers under this category the right to buy power directly from Gencos unhindered.”
NERC confirmed that under the regime, the Minister had signed off four categories of eligible customers to become operative in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
The first category of eligible customers, it noted, comprises of a group of end-users registered with the NERC and whose consumption is not less than two megawatts (MW) and connected to a metered 11kV or 33kV delivery point on the distribution network.
This group, it stated, would however be subjected to a distribution use of system agreement for the delivery of electrical energy.
But a senior manager with Electex Company Nigeria, Mr. Rufus Obehe, one of the Gencos, said the operators were yet to get a clearer picture of the new policy.
Other stakeholders said that the directive would not change anything much, because less than 10 per cent of electricity end-users in Nigeria can afford the facilities to directly purchase energy generated by the Gencos. 

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