The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has drawn the attention of the general public to the provisions of second 79 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2005 which prohibits any person from constructing or extending any railway, road or works for telecommunications without notifying the Commission.
According to NERC, the attention of the Commission has been drawn to incidents of destruction of electricity facilities due to engineering and construction works.
These tamperings with electricity facilities, NERC said, have caused health and safety concerns; unplanned outages of electricity supply to consumers, and endangered the lives of the public and staff of the utilities. Also, these have affected the revenue inflow of the electricity market thereby distorting the growth and development of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
NERC stated: “For ease of reference, S.79, states as follows: “Any person who desires to construct or extend any railway, road or any works for telecommunications shall give one month’s notice in writing to the Commission of his intention to commence such construction. He should furnish the Commission with a plan of the proposed railway, road or telecommunication works, together with the particulars showing the manner and position in which the railway, road or telecommunication works are intended to be constructed or extended and carried on and such further information as the Commission may require; provided that this subsection shall not apply to the construction or extension of works or telecommunications works as may be prescribed by the Commission.”
It added: “Furthermore, S.79 (2) adds that: If it appears to the Commission that: the operation of or the equipment to be used in connection with railway, road or telecommunication works referred to in subsection of this section is likely to affect injuriously or interfere with the work or maintenance of electricity lines or the carrying on by a licensee of a system; or any electricity line is being affected injuriously or interfered with by the construction or operation of or the equipment used in connection with: a railway, road or telecommunication work referred to in subsection; or any railway, road or telecommunication works or other operations whatsoever.
Source: The Guardian