Reps to create power training institute, renewable energy agency

By Gift Chapi Odekina 

The House of Representatives on Thursday moved to amend the Power Sector Reform Act of 2005, with a view to Providing the legal and institutional framework for the implementation and coordination of rural electrification projects.

The amendment also sought  the establishment of the National Power Training Institute and regulatory provisions to strengthen the sector for efficient service delivery; and for related matters.

Also sought by the amendment is the establishment of Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Agency.

The document in Clause 32 is introducing a new clause ”94A”, after the existing section 94 in the principal Act to provide stiffer penalties for crimes committed against electrical infrastructure.

Titled: ‘Electric Power Sector Reform Act (Amendment) Bill 2021’, the piece of legislation is being sponsored by the chairman House committee on Power, Hon. Magaji Da’u Aliyu (APC, Jigawa), who, in his lead debate on the general principles of the bill told the House that the amendment sought by him was long overdue.

Giving background of his presentation, Hon. Aliyu reminded his colleagues that the Act was enacted as far back as 2005 as a consolidated legal framework that regulates the Power sector in Nigeria. 

“For about one and a half decade the Act has not been amended until now following increasing challenges that affect the efficiency, corporate stability and prospects of the power sector,” he said.

“In exercise of its powers within the scope of its jurisdiction under Order 18, Rule 80 of the House Standing Orders, Ninth Edition, 2016 as (Amended), the House Committee on Power initiates amendment of the Act to overcome the challenges for a better power sector in Nigeria.”

According to him, the proposal was supported by inputs from stakeholders which include Federal Ministry of Power, Nigerian Electricity Management Services agency (NEMSA), power Generation Companies in Nigeria, association of Nigeria Electricity Distribution and National Power Training Institute of Nigeria. 

The proposed legislation which has 36 clauses seeks to through Clause 2 amend section 8 of the Principal Act to include companies limited by guarantee in the formation of successor companies under section 1 of the Act. 

Clause 3 on the other hand seeks to amend section 10(4) by deleting the proviso, while Clause 4 is to amend section 24 by inserting a new subsection ”(2A)” which request stakeholders input in the Commission’s report to the Minister on prospect of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry in the privatisation era. 

“Clause 5 insert a new section ”24A” which lists agencies under the jurisdiction of the Federal Ministry responsible for power. 

“Clause 6 amends section 26 of the Principal Act to make Nigerian electricity Supply industry more competitive in the post privatisation era. 

“Clause 7 amends section 27 by substituting the minister for the commission in determining eligible customers” he said.

  Clause 20 and 21 amend sections 68 and 71 to exclude the application of Public Procurement Act to contracts made under the section, as well as enhance the terms for the grant and operation of license respectively. 

 The bill barring any dissenting voice was passed and referred to the committee on power for further legislative actions.

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