Stakeholders call for state of emergency on power

Electricity transmission towers

Stakeholders in the power sector have urged the incoming administration in 2023, to declare a state of emergency in the power sector to solve the lingering crisis of inadequate supply.

This was the consensus at the 13th edition of PwC’s Annual Power & Utilities Roundtable, themed: “Setting a New Power Agenda Post-2023 Elections,” according to the company statement yesterday.

The statement reads: During the session’s panel discussion, it became apparent that stakeholders across Nigeria’s power sector value chain, from transmission, distribution, generation and renewable energy operators, have different perspectives on the policies required to solve the challenges in the sector.

“Further, it was apparent that political actors often have bold ambitions that drive policymaking but sometimes aren’t consistent with the pragmatic realities in the industry. This misalignment hampers a collaborative approach towards solutions.”

However, the stakeholders insist on the need to formally recognise the electric power crisis in Nigeria, and for the new government post-2023 elections to convene a stakeholders’ summit.

Experienced power sector stakeholders, including the keynote speaker, Dr Sam Amadi, a former CEO, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and panellists — Alex Okoh, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE); and Dr U.G. Mohammed, a former MD, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), among others attended the roundtable.

Speaking on: “How to solve Nigeria’s energy problem,” Amadi reviewed the power sector policies of the presidential candidates of the three leading political parties.  

Some of the solutions he proposed include a restructuring of the Transmission Company; constituting a presidential task force to drive power sector reforms; and restructuring of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) to release its 4000 megawatts (MW) generating capacity.

He also called for invitations to local and international developers to sign new PPA for 800MW of solar/wind in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Warri by 2025.

Further, it was apparent that political actors often have bold ambitions that drive policymaking but sometimes aren’t consistent with the pragmatic realities in the industry. This misalignment hampers a collaborative approach towards solutions.

Impactful reforms

The panellists identified on-going power sector interventions and critical and impactful reforms, which the incoming government should continue to implement post-2023.

For Okoh, some on-going reforms targeted at electricity generation companies (GENCOs) have worked and should continue. For example, a legacy GENCO firm that was privatised, and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, is currently attracting favourable attention from the public, this is an independent test of the viability of that business.

Similarly, Mohammed said one of the laudable reforms was the cessation of government-to-government agreements with neighbouring countries which paved the way for GENCOs to sign bilateral agreements directly with their governments, adding that a bilateral agreement is preferable to the single buyer regime.

Component Lead, Standalone Solar Home Systems (SHS), Rural Electrification Project (REA), Ms Lande Abudu, said her company has deployed over one million units impacting over five million Nigerian households.

The Managing Director, Azura Power West Africa Limited, Edu Okeke, highlighted the positive impact the licensing of mobile money would have on the renewable space by giving investors the confidence that they can easily collect their payments from the consumer.

Solutions and policies

PwC, the organisers of the roundtable urged participants to put aside their political differences and focus on what needs to be done.

The Partner and Energy, Utilities and Resources Industry Leader, at PwC Nigeria, Pedro Omontuemhen, said: “Irrespective of your political affiliation, we can all agree that electric power is critical to our development as a nation. But there are several perspectives on the key solutions and policies that Nigeria should pursue to solve the crisis in the power sector.

“So there’s a need for all stakeholders and the incoming government to dimension the challenges and agree on the key policies to implement. This alignment is urgent if the incoming government is to deliver a sustainable and stable electric power supply in Nigeria.”

Also, Partner, Energy, Utilities and Resources, PwC Nigeria, Akinyemi Akingbade, who moderated the panel session, noted that: “A vital aspect of PwC’s purpose is to solve important problems. For the past 14 years, this forum has brought stakeholders together to discuss topical issues affecting the power sector and propose solutions. We are proud of some of its successes, and keen to collaborate with other stakeholders to chart a path forward.”

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