Senator Gabriel Suswam, representing Benue North East Senatorial district, has said the 2022 New Electricity Bill passed into law by lawmakers has put an end to years of centralized power generation and distribution in the country.
He said states and individuals can now generate and distribute power in Nigeria.
He attributed the new power model to China which he explained has stability in power generation.
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Speaking at a press briefing with the Senate Press Corps on Wednesday, Senator Suswam pointed out that States can also license investors to generate power within the state.
He said: “The State can now generate her own source of power. Any State that has the capacity without a license could do so knowing that the issue of electricity was part of the concurrent part of our Constitution.
“The Act has allowed the lincensing of people who have the capacity to go into establishing mini grids. Not just the mini grids, but power plants within the State. It means that the State lincensed power plant would not be allowed beyond their State.
“Anything that is beyond the State will be licensed by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the State that will lincensed will have their own regulatory authority just like we have NERC at the Federal.
“To lincense mini grids for individuals who have the capacity to establish the mini grid and operate within the franchise that would be given to them either by the state or the federal government.”
According to him, the renewable energy generation has been provided with a legal backing in the bill.
“Also, the issue of renewable energy will now have a legal backing beside generating one megawatts as an alternative source of power, and has also been incorporated and provided. So, all of these have legal backing for those who want to generate power.
“We are looking for ways to solve power problems. Sometime ago, I was in China and some of the power generated are owned by the community within the community and there is electricity throughout wherever you go.
“That is to say that the space is now open and there is little restriction to generate power and distribute.
“When the president eventually sign the bill, you will see that anyone who want to generate power below one megawatts doesn’t need a license to do that
“We have also expanded the powers of NERC as a regulator so that they can be able to regulate and address the issue of failing licensees.”
Recall that the Ministry of Power had earlier said some sections in the new Electricity Bill 2022 will dilute the powers of the ministry to effectively supervise agencies under it.