April 16, 2024

10 years Post Privatisation: Experts recommend grid supply to industries, urban centers, renewable energy solutions to underserved customers in Nigeria

Adedokun Theophilus, Abuja

 

George Etomi, Chairman of West Power and Gas, and Mr. Kola Adesina, Group Managing Director of Sahara Group, and other power sector stakeholders have recommended prioritizing grid power supply to economies/industrial and commercial entities and deployment of renewable energy solutions (on-grid/off-grid) to all underserved and unserved customers aimed at increasing electricity availability, access, and reliability throughout the country.

 

This recommendation comes as a result of consultations, participation, and engagement of a diverse array of stakeholders operating within the inaugural International Conference of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) Market Participants & Stakeholders Roundtable 2023, held in Abuja on Wednesday.

 

Speaking on the theme: NESI Regulatory Ecosystem/Electricity (Amendment) Act, 2023: Taking the steps towards electrification for all Nigerians.

 

George Etomi, Chairman of West Power and Gas, in his comment during the conference, charged the government to revolutionise the power sector through smart infrastructure and modern technologies like Europe, America, and Asia.

 

He further asked the government to socialise the risk involved in the power sector value chain and fund the infrastructure that the private sector can manage and expand for efficiency.

 

According to him, the government should adopt the right regulations to incentivize DisCos’ performance.  He also called for the total unbundling of the distribution subsector to make it more efficient and competitive.

 

George Etomi further emphasised that the adoption of modern technological tools and machines would contribute to the longevity of the power sector infrastructure and the practicality of the industry reforms.

 

He said, “We need to reintroduce smart infrastructure, this is the revolution that is urgently needed to turn the power sector around in Nigeria.

 

“Operations within the value-chain must be smarter and technologically oriented like Europe, America and Asia. He therefore encouraged the Federal Government to socialise the risks and fund the infrastructure that the private sector can manage and expand for efficiency.

 

Mr. Kola Adesina, Group Managing Director of Sahara Group, on his part stated that the journey of the power sector towards full recovery after ten years must start with power supply priority to economies/industrial and commercial entities, as well as total settlement of power sector legacy debts.

 

He added that renewable energy must be deployed to all categories of customers, particularly the underserved and unserved markets.

 

Adesina also urged the government to ensure the right pricing, which according to him, must reflect the market realities that align with customer consumption.

 

He also emphasised the power sector policies and regulations must be consistent and predictable, adding that this would boost the investors’ confidence. He stated that electricity consumers in Nigeria must be paid for the service provided.

 

According to him, the market pricing must be segmented.  Recommending other solutions for the power sector recovery, Adesina suggested access to foreign exchange to unlock the bottleneck to the procurement of power sector infrastructure.

 

He also revealed that government institutions including departments and agencies must pay for electricity supply.  Adesina who is also the Board Chairman of Ikeja Electric further emphasised the importance of modern technology to ensure the delivery of optimum service.

 

He said, “We need to embrace digital solutions and technological advancements for the convenience of our customers. For instance, at Ikeja Electric we adopted automated payment channels, making transactions smoother and more efficient for our valued customers.

 

“We are not just providing a service; we are creating experiences that resonate with our customers’ expectations.

 

“Recognising the importance of transparency and accountability, we successfully metered over 830,292 customers, giving them control over their energy consumption and fostering a sense of empowerment, the Adesina.

 

Board Chairman Ikeja Electric therefore suggested that the government must direct subsidy to the generation of power. There is also the need for the alignment of the entire value chain from gas to customers.

 

Ifeoma Malo, Also, Chief executive officer of Clean Technology Hub, expressed Nigeria must adopt the use of renewable energy in rural and inaccessible rural areas.

 

She noted that renewable energy comes with its barriers and stressed that the government needs to enact stable laws and supportive policies that provide incentives for investment through tax.

 

Malo mentioned that potential resistance, lack of commitment, global economic downturn, and technological challenges and delay are some of the threats to the industry.

 

 

She therefore expressed optimism that the sector had been able to create employment, grow the economy, and advance in energy storage management of Nigeria.