On Wednesday, the Senate passed the Electricity Bill, 2022, which is a continuation of the consideration of a report by the Committee on Power.
Senator Gabriel Suswam (PDP, Benue North East), the Chairman of the Committee who spoke in support of the bill, said the bill will provide an Ideal legal and institutional framework to leverage the modest gains of the privatization phase of the electric power sector in Nigeria among other things.
He also said that it would improve the utilization of generated power through increased investments in new technologies to enhance the transmission and distribution of generated power to minimize aggregate value chain losses.
We will “reinvigorate the Institutional framework for the reform of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry initiated and implemented by the Federal Government,” according to him.
Suswam concluded by saying the bill would stimulate policy and regulatory measures to scale up efficient power generation, transmission, and distribution capabilities of the sector; as well as address technological limitations and outdated infrastructure that is responsible for value chain losses.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan sought to know the role and operational capacity of banks that had taken over distribution companies (discos) indebted to them, Suswam responded by saying the take-over of entities (Discos) by banks was duly carried out in collaboration with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NER) and Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE).
He noted that there’s a transitional process put in place during the take-over of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company by the United Bank for Africa to ensure efficiency in service delivery.
Senator Ahmad Babba-Kaita (PDP – Katsina North) on his own part said the faulty way in which Discos were created was largely responsible for their inability to live up to expectations.
He advised the federal government to ensure a transparent process in the selection of companies to take-over power generation and distribution across the country.
Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC – Niger North), the deputy chief Whip also said that the aspect of renewable energy in the bill was given prominence amidst the energy mix.
The Electricity Bill, 2022, after a clause-by-clause consideration of the Committee’s report by the Committee of the Whole, was passed by the upper chamber.
Lawan speak after the bill was passed, he said;
“Because of its importance and sensitivity, we would like to see a quick concurrence by the House of Representatives, because time is of the essence as far as Nigeria is concerned when you talk about electricity and energy supplies in Nigeria.
“So, we would like to see that this bill is fully processed in the National Assembly and sent to the Executive side of government for the consideration for assent by Mr. President.
“We believe that this piece of legislation can change the fortunes of the electricity industry in Nigeria for the better”.