Under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 (EPSRA), the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) may of its own volition or upon receipt of a complaint enquire into the conduct or functioning of any licensee’s obligations under the Act, rules or regulations, codes of conduct, or terms and conditions of the licence.
According to this attached Notice, NERC claims to have ‘reasonable cause’ that the listed Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) have breached the provisions of EPSRA, terms and conditions of each DISCOs’ licences, the 2018 Minor Review of Multi Year Tariff Order, and the Minimum Review Remittance Order for 2019.
These DISCOs have been given 60 days to show cause why their licences should not be cancelled.
Without prejudice to NERC’s statutory powers to regulate and take tough decisions, and without delving into the merit or otherwise of this regulatory move, it is our humble view that this path is one fraught with many dangers for the distribution of electricity, with its consequential impact on the consumers of electricity – both domestic and industrial.
For one, has NERC covered all bases in terms of managing possible fall out – technical and LEGAL – from this threatened cancellation? For another, if the purpose of this is to get the attention of these DISCOs, what message might this be sending to potential investors in this economy?
How long, would this possibly drag on for; and while it is on-going, how might the DISCOs perform vis-a-vis consumers of electricity?
This we believe are urgent issues that must be on the mind of NERC. We hope they have really thought this through? Our recent history suggests not.
Interesting times ahead!