Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) in partnership with Nigeria Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) have on Tuesdays held lunch time seminar on challenges of power sector in the country.
The seminar with the title: “Roles, Responsibilities, innovation and Challenges in the Power Sector” is one of the monthly lunchtime seminar series organised by BPSR to federal ministries, departments and agencies with the aim of reforming their operations.
Speaking while declaring the event open, BPSR Director General, Dr Dasuki Arabi said the seminar is very timely and relevant in view of the crucial role of power in the growth and development of nations.
He said, “You will agree with me that erratic and unstable electricity supply in Nigeria over the years has adversely affected the growth of industrial, commercial and other productive sectors of the economy.
“The privatization exercise was one of the reform initiatives of the Federal Government to rectify some major challenges confronting the power sector which included inter alia, non-payment of electricity bills by government agencies, private enterprises and many individual households, limited capital for the needed investment in the sector, non-deployment of electricity meters, high right of estimated bills, vandalisation of power sector facilities, gas pipelines and a weak transmission system.
“A number of reforms were initiated to address these challenges considering the vital role of power supply in Socio-Economic and National Development of the country, making it imperative for the Federal Government to undertake the following reform actions in order to consolidate and strengthen the power sector:
i. National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy (NREEEP-2015)
ii. Rural Electricity Strategy Action Plan
iii. Nigeria Power Content Development Policy
iv. Nigeria Electricity Management Services Agency Act (NEMSA) 2015
v. Nigeria Renewable Energy Action Master Plan (NREAP) 2015
vi. Sustainable Energy for All-Action Agenda (SE4ALL-AA)
vii. Power Sector Recovery Plan, amongst others.
“These reforms started with the deregulation of the Power Sector which began with the privatization of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Nigeria. The reforms then continued with the unbundling and privatization of the sector to create semi-autonomous commercial subsectors.
“Despite these reforms, the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry still faces the challenge of satisfying the power demand of the citizens and the urgent need to achieve the Federal Government’s target of 20 gigawatts (GW) of available electricity capacity.
“The Bureau is proud to be associated with the Nigeria Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) and would align the organisation’s vision to the National Strategy for Public Service Reform (NSPSR), whose vision is to have “a world-class public service delivering government policies effectively and implementing programmes with professionalism, integrity, excellence, and passion to secure sustainable national development”.
The DG said the seminar is expected to provide the needed platform to convey government policies and programmes that require the buy-in of critical stakeholders.
Speaking while presenting his paper titled, NEMSA: Roles, responsibilities, innovations and challenges in the power sector, Engr. Peter O. Ewesor, the NEMSA CEO and Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation highlighted some of the challenges in the power sector in Nigeria.
According to him, the challenges include, “Use of substandard electrical materials and equipment by Utility Companies, other corporate organisations and individuals, ageing and poorly maintained Distribution Networks causing instability and few hours of electricity supply.
“There is rampart use of uncertified Electrical Installations Personnel for executing electrical works, deployment of uncertified electricity meters by Utility Companies, private and corporate developers of mini-grid systems and bypassing of electricity meters by some unscrupulous consumers,” he added.
Ewesor said the major functions of the agency is to ensure that all categories of electrical installations and projects in the country are executed by only qualified and competent hands and ensure that installations put in place meet the required safety standards and requirements.
NEMSA also according to him monitors the activities of the contractors in the industry nationwide
Established by NEMSA act, 2015, the agency according to him is empowered to carry out the functions of enforcement of technical standards and regulations, technical inspection, testing and certification of all categories of electrical installations, electricity meters and instruments, to ensure the efficient production and delivery of safe, reliable and sustainable electricity power supply and guarantee safety of lives and property in the Nigerian electricity supply industry, and other allied industries/workplaces.
Aliyu Umar Aliyu
Principal Information Officer (BPSR)