Tuesday, February 7, 2017 11:07 pm
By Babatunde Fashola
Welcome to this solemn but important event that has the propensity to profoundly and positively impact the electricity sector of our economy.
Pursuant to the nomination of suitably qualified Nigerians by Mr. President and the confirmation of the Senate, we gather to inaugurate:
Messrs Sanusi Garba, an Engineer (Electrical)-Vice Chairman; Professor Frank Okafor, an Engineer (Electrical); Dafe C. Akpeneye, a Legal Practitioner; Nathan RogerShatti, an Accountant; Dr.Musiliu O. Oseni, an Economist; Dr. Moses Arigu, a Scientist Mathematician
as Commissioners of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
They have been chosen in the manner prescribed by law; and I particularly welcome their arrival for many reasons:
a) Provides stability in governance regulatory action and institution building to the sector; and
b) It allows the Ministry to focus on policy; coordination and completion of on-going Generation and Transmission projects.
I will like to thank Dr. Anthony Akah, who acted in capacity of CEO of NERC for about a year. His service to his country is highly appreciated and he must now hand over to the Vice-Chairman and his fellow Commissioners and return to his normal schedule of duties.
For the information of the public, this occasion provides the opportunity to again share knowledge with ourselves about the Nigerian Power Sector.
The first thing to emphasize is that the power sector has been privatized.
This process occurred and was concluded in November, 2013; and has resulted in the vesting of majority of Power Generation and Power Distribution in the hands of private owners.
So for the avoidance of doubt, power is now in private hands, and government is now largely a policy maker, and Regulator. Policy is the work of the Ministry and as I said, the completion of on-going Generation projects and Transmission projects.
Regulation is the work of NERC acting through the Commissioners we inaugurate today.
So for all those seeking license to generate power, to build coal and solar plants, and all other similar proposals, your letters should go to NERC not to the Ministry – Although you can copy us for information.
For all those who have issues with Meters, Estimated Billing, Customer Service issue, this is the work of NERC to ensure that the DISCOs perform and I urge you to direct your complaints to them, and keep us informed about the service they render to you, because we oversee them; but will not interfere with their work.
To NERC and the new Commissioners, I welcome you on board.
Be firm, but fair.
Regulate but be business oriented.
Remember that regulations are Rules; and Rules are made for us, we are not made for the Rules. Regulate with the understanding that the industry is young, in Transition and needs support.
I wish you success and you can count on the support of the Ministry.
Remarks by the Honourable Minister Of Power, Works And Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, at the inauguration of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission Commissioners on Tuesday, 7th February, 2017 at Power House, Maitama, Abuja