Some stakeholders in the power sector have urged synergy between the executive and legislature to address the challenges facing the area.
The Director General of the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), Dr. Ladi Hamalai and other key players made the call at a special session for the review of the extant laws governing electricity and the entire sector.
Hamalai advocated adequate funding and restructuring of the sector to achieve relative stability in electricity generation and distribution.
The DG charged participants drawn from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Consumer Protection Council, Federal Ministry of Justice, the academia, private sector and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to come up with fact-based contributions on the way forward.
She said such reliable data would assist the National Assembly to carry out the needed amendments or repeal of the existing laws, where necessary.
“The de-industrialisation process in the country is due to the state of power supply. The sector is so important that once it is fixed, the country would experience accelerated and sustainable development,” she noted.
Presenting a paper on “Legislating Mechanisms for Protecting the Consumer Against Arbitrary Tariff Increment and other Abuses in the Power Sector,” the presiding judge of the National Industrial Court, Lagos Division, Justice Ben. Kanyip, called for the political will to address the sector’s challenges.
Kanyib stressed that the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 was an all-encompassing tool that was promulgated to “provide for the development of competitive electricity market, establishment of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the licensing and regulation of the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity.
Others are the enforcement of such matters as performance standards, consumer rights and obligations and the determination of tariffs among other matters.”
The Director General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC) Dupe Atoki, who also called for a review spoke on “Improving the Electricity Consumers’ Access to Administrative and Judicial Remedies.”
She solicited an immediate abolition of estimated billing and the passage of Competition Law.
Atoki urged the distribution companies to scale up public education and enlightenment and enlarge the bar of enforcement of laws, arguing that the existing penalties were unrealistic.