Akwa Ibom joins Lagos in fresh move to operate state-owned DisCo, seeks FG’s approval

 

Oredola Adeola

The Akwa Ibom State Government has made a move to generate and distribute electricity within the state, this is just as Governor Udom Emmanuel has unveiled a plan to float a sub-national power utility company, after scaling through the licensing procedure with the National Electricity Regulatory Authority(NERC).

Governor Emmanuel made this commitment in a statement obtained by EnergyDay in commemoration of the State’s 35th-anniversary celebrations.

EnergyDay gathered that the State is initiating this development as part of a plan to capitalise on the success achieved with the expansion of the State’s own independent power generating plant, Ibom Plant.

The Ibom Power plant has recently been upgraded to generate up to 732 megawatts from the existing 191 megawatts, after bringing on board the African Delta Power Limited, a private firm, which has agreed to add additional 366 megawatts to the plant capacity.

The Akwa Ibom Governor said, “I have applied for the license to distribute power. So, whatsoever we generate, we will distribute. God willing, the license will be approved and after that, we will float Ibom Power Utility Company.`

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EnergyDay however gathered that the Akwa Ibom State Government’s initiative, if approved by the Federal Government, would serve as an advancement to the segment of the concurrent legislative schedule of the 1999 Constitution, which was recently amended by the National Assembly for State Governments to license people who intend to generate and distribute electricity within the state.

It is however not clear how the state intends to carry on with the plan to drive the process of distributing the power it generated, as EnergyDay gathered that the legislative bill only made provisions for the subnational and private firms to generate power into the national grid for transmission and distribution.

 

The Lagos State Government had earlier in the year made a similar move with the unveiling of the “Lagos State Electricity Policy”, with the specific aim of providing cleaner, reliable, affordable, and uninterrupted power supply to residents.

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while insisting that residents of the state wanted regular power supply, added that the electricity policy articulated constitutional, legal, engineering, and commercial foundations for creating a viable sub-national electricity system that would cater to the energy needs of the state.

 

The Lagos State Government said that such a viable sub-national electricity system would enable socio-economic growth for Lagos and the nation at large. He said that one of the important roles of the policy was that it would help to establish and boost the Lagos Electricity Market (LEM).

LEM is expected to advance Governor Sanwoolu’s plan to clear out the constitutional and legal framework for the establishment of an autonomous regulatory body and independent system operator similar to NERC and Nigerian system Operator(NSO) respectively.