May 26, 2024

Power of states to generate, transmit, distribute electricity is shortcut to goals of restructuring Nigeria- Dr. Chizea

Oredola Adeola

The power granted to the state governments to generate, transmit and distribute electricity in areas where the national grid is operational – following President Mohammadu Buhari’s assent to the bills altering some aspects of the 1999 Constitution – is a shortcut to the attainment of goals of agitation for restructuring and resource control in Nigeria’s federal system.

Dr Boniface Chizea, economist made this observation in a statement praising the March 15, 2023, alteration of 16 laws in the 1999 Constitution by the outgoing President.

According to him, state governments and the power sector players can now take advantage of the opportunities to actively participate in the Nigerian electricity industry market(NESI) even in areas covered by the national grid.

He said, “The unbundling of the exclusive list in the Constitution to concurrent status has reduced the unwholesome concentration of powers at the centre and has fostered the wholesome principles of subsidiarity.

” Therefore, the signing into law of these bills that would inevitably result in changing aspects of the Constitution is seen as a shortcut to responding to the agitations for a restructured polity.

Dr. Boniface further noted that the opportunity to generate, transmit and distribute electricity by the subnational must be accorded the focus and seriousness it deserves.

He said, “There are not many factors of our national life that have made our environment unattractive as well as uncompetitive as a lack of steady and reliable power supply.

“The provision that now allows sub-national governments to generate and distribute electricity would seem to have been earlier taken for granted except to the extent that some restrictions that might have existed with regard to areas covered by the National Grid must have now been removed.

“Otherwise many states at some point or another have made efforts to provide Independent power supplies before now,” Dr. Boniface noted.