The senator representing Benue North East Senatorial district and chairman Senate Committee on Power, Dst. Sen. Gabriel Suswan has said the Electricity Bill, 2022 which was passed into law on Wednesday, has primarily de-monopolised power generation in Nigeria.
He said the space to generate power has been opened to an extent that states and individuals can venture into power generation and distribution.
Noted, same model was used in China and made the country have stability in power generation, adding that the endless power challenge in the country has made the National Assembly through the Committee on Power, which he chairs and other stakeholders to look elsewhere in solving the problem.
Speaking at a press briefing with the Senate Press Corps after Wednesday’s plenary during which the bill was passed into law, Senator Suswam pointed out that States can also license investors in power, though, the power generation and distribution should be within the state.
He said: The State can now generate its own source of power. Any State that has the capacity without a license could do so knowing that the issue of electricity was part of the concurrent part of our Constitution.
“The Act has allowed the licensing of people who have the capacity to go into establishing mini-grids. Not just the mini-grids, but power plants within the State. It means that the State’s licensed power plant would not be allowed beyond their State.
“Anything that is beyond the State will be licensed by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the State that will be licensed will have their own regulatory authority just like we have NERC at the Federal.
“To license mini grids for individuals who have the capacity to establish the mini-grid and operate within the franchise that would be given to them either by the state or the federal government.
According to him, renewable energy generation has been provided with legal backing in the bill.
“Also, the issue of renewable energy will now have a legal backing besides generating one megawatt as an alternative source of power and has also been incorporated and provided. So, all of these have legal backing for those who want to generate power.
“We are looking for ways to solve power problems. Some time ago, I was in China and some of the power generated is owned by the community within the community and there is electricity throughout wherever you go.
“That is to say that the space is now open and there is a little restriction to generate power and distribute.
“When the president eventually signs the bill, you will see that anyone who wants to generate power below one megawatt doesn’t need a license to do that
“We have also expanded the powers of NERC as a regulator so that they can be able to regulate and address the issue of failing licensees.”