April 15, 2024

FG unbundles PH DisCo franchise area, grants Akwa Ibom govt. licence to distribute electricity

Oredola Adeola

The Nigerian Government has unbundled the network area of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution (PHED) Plc, with the approval given to Ibom Utility company, owned by the Akwa Ibom State Government, to operate an independent electricity distribution network licence, and to distribute within selected locations in Akwa Ibom state.


The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Authority (NERC) made this known in a statement released on the sideline of the permission granted by Sanusi Garba, Commission’s Chairman to the Akwa Ibom State Government led by the Secretary to State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, Commissioner for Power, Hon John James and SSA to the Governor on Power, and The Managing Director of Ibom Power, Engr Mayen Etukudo on Friday in Abuja.


NERC said approved the application from Ibom Utility company to operate an independent electricity distribution network licence which will enable Ibom Utility Company to distribute electricity in selected locations in Akwa Ibom state.


The Commission also said that it has approved the application for an amendment of the on-grid electricity generating licence to enable Ibom Power Company Ltd to be embedded into the distribution network of Ibom utility company limited.


EnergyDay gathered that the operational licence, therefore, gave the Akwa Ibom Power Company the right to generate and distribute electricity to customers under the approved franchise area in the state.


The approved areas were carved out of franchise network area in Akwa-Ibom state managed and controlled by the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution (PHED) Plc. PHED’s franchise areas are Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states.


The decision of NERC was in sync with two regulations entitled “NERC Regulation on Embedded Generation 2012,” and “NERC Regulation for Independent Electricity Distribution, which empowers States with electricity generation infrastructure to distribute electricity to their citizens.


The two regulations also empower local governments and communities to partner with investors to develop power solutions in order to provide their citizens with electricity.

Engr. Meyen Etukudo, Managing Director of Ibom Power who doubles as the SSA to the Governor on Power, said that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), had recently energised 132/33KV electricity transformers in Calabar.

He noted that Governor Emmanuel collaborated with TCN to commission a 132/33KV, 1 x 60MVA transformer at Afaha Ube in Uyo to increase the state’s available power for distribution from 96megawatts to 144megawatts.

He said, “This upgrade provides steady power to ten local government areas in the state including Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, Essien Udim, Obot Akara, Ini, Ikono, Ibiono, Etinan, Abak and Ukanafun.

The statement from the state government revealed that Governor Udom recently collaborated with TCN and entered into an agreement to build a 132/33KV, 2 x 60MVA transmission substation at Ekim in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area. It stated that the last time a transmission substation was constructed in Akwa Ibom state was twenty years ago.


According to the statement, “As part of activities to celebrate the state’s 32nd anniversary, the Governor invited Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to commission Ekim 132/33KV, 1 x 60MVA substation.


“The substation, which receives power from the state-owned Ibom Power Plant, has 33kv dedicated lines to Onna industrial hub, the location of Jubilee Syringe factory, King Flour Mills, Metering Solutions Manufacturing Services and the plywood industry.


“It also provides steady power supply to Akwa Ibom State University and five local government areas including Onna, Mkpat Enin, Ikot Abasi, Eastern Obolo and Orukanam. In addition, Akwa Ibom State Government has secured a 30MVA transformer for the proposed construction of the Ikot Abasi substation.”



The Akwa Ibom state government therefore noted that the new approval will enable the state to independently manage its power resources and distribute them effectively.


The National Assembly in 2022 considered a bill that allows states to generate and distribute electricity.
The bill’s pass provides an Ideal legal and institutional framework to leverage on the modest gains of the privatisation phase of the electricity power sector in Nigeria.


The Akwa Ibom Power Company was registered and an active participant in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). It was incorporated in the year 2001 under the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 (CAMA) of Nigeria and licensed by NERC in May 2008.