30 months after, NERC finally gets a chairman
Nigeria apex regulatory body in the power sector, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Thursday finally got a Chairman, as Professor James Momoh was sworn in.
The commission last had a chairman in December 2015 when the tenure of the last commissioners ended.
Inaugurating Momoh in Abuja, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola said the coming of the chairman has completed the commission and has met one of the targets of government in the power sector recovery programme.
He commended him for taking up the challenge of finding solution to power sector problems.
Fashola said in the past few months, power supply has steadily increased with many Nigerians having more hours of supply daily.
He acknowledged however that there were many challenges in the sector that require the attention of the regulator, urging the commission to step up its game to become an effective and efficient regulator.
In his response, Momoh assured the Minister and Nigerians of his readiness to serve the country honestly.
He explained that he hopes to lead a smart term who will deliver smart services to the sector.
According to him, a�?I brought with me, the knowledge, experience that I have, wisdom about power engineering and of course, ability to work in teams, and to address quick wins a�� what can we do with respect to what we heard about estimated metering, how do we make sure that we get enough data so that customers are also convinced to pay for the power they use based on what we provide.
a�?At the same time, we will bring to the industry what are the best practices to ensure that we have quality supply and reliable power. What do we bring to the sector is also ensuring that there is innovation in the industry because if we remain the same and remain static, and not solve real problems, we will just be doing fire-brigade, the Gencos will tell you there is a blackout without knowing why. We are going to ask the questions a�� for me, I know why because I know the mathematics and economics behind ita�?.
Meanwhile, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated a $57,000 (about N20.520 million) bucket truck for maintenance and repairs of electricity lines under the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) network.
USAID said it intervenes in the distribution firms through it commodity support process. It said the vehicle will help the linesmen of AEDC fix faulty power lines faster without having to struggle with using ladders.
Receiving the truck in Abuja, the Managing Director of AEDC, Ernest Mupwaya said USAID through its Power Africa initiative has been supportive in contributing to the improvement of the power sector of Nigeria while partnering with four Distribution Companies (DisCos).
He said the vehicle also came with a $17,000 worth of spare part to support its operation for a long time. “What we are witnessing today is a significant milestone. I am told it is worth $57,000 and about $17,000 worth of spare parts. It means that with the support of spare parts, we can sustain the use of this equipment over it’s life time.”
Mupwaya noted that the agency also recently donated meter testing equipment valued at $50,000 to Abuja DisCo which now helps the firm to routinely test meters installed for the electricity customers to ensure they are efficient.
“That was very critical because it goes a long way to seal the loop hole on our revenue that comes through defective meters,” Mupwaya noted.