A former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji on Thursday raised alarm of the growing incidents of electrocution in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
Speaking during a stakeholders’ forum organised by the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) in Abuja, he tasked the agency on technical enforcement, which he said the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) lacked the capacity to address prior to the establishment of the latter.
He advised the agency that the only way it can address the danger of electrocution is to ensure proper installation.
Nnaji said: “And installation -the wiring. The way you install wires in the country needs to be assured that they are safe. So this must be a responsibility and unfortunately for us we have a lot of accidents recently people die of electrocution in various parts of the country.
“And the only way you can ensure that this is not going on is to ensure that installations are done properly, and that people are not exposed to danger. And there must be an agency that does this. So that is what NEMSA is supposed to do.”
The former minister recalled that the failure of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to do technical enforcement led to the creation of a new enforcement agency last year.
He was among the experts that initiated the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2005 that created NERC, NEMSA and other agencies in the power industry.
He said: “What we wanted to do (in the reform) was to say the Inspectorate Division of the Ministry of power should be a department for regulating technical services. We wanted NERC to take it but perhaps the managers of NERC didn’t understand that aspect, because we have business regulation and then the technical aspect.
“Somebody has to maintain the technical aspect, and so it did not happen. So the inspectorate division became the engine that created NEMSA. People wondered what was going on then and it became a fury during the process of creating NEMSA,” Nnnaji explained.