The federal government will soon embark on total implementation of the provisions of the Electricity Power Reform Act (EPRA) of 2005 in order to tackle the perennial power outages being experienced in the country.
Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji made this known in a press briefing in Abuja after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on the performance of his ministry in the implementation of the 2012 budget. He was accompanied by his state counterpart and the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati.
The EPRA Act provides in its preamble that companies will be formed to take over the functions, assets, liabilities and staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in order to “develop a competitive electricity markets.” It also provides for the establishment of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), “to provide for the licensing and regulation of the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity.” The NERC, the Act stipulates further, will also enforce performance standards, consumer rights and obligations and provide the determination of tariffs and other related matters.
The federal government also has in view the completion of 156 on-going projects across the country in order to facilitate the job of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which will soon partner private sector investors in the provision of power to the people of the country.
Nnaji who described power and its provision as the biggest constraint of the nation, said that the ministry received the sum of N75.5 as budgeted for 2012, while the National Assembly provided for N78 billion, the difference being the lawmakers’ additions for some constituency projects. He also disclosed that the ministry’s performance in the implementation of the budget was 52.9%, explaining that out of the 75.4 Billion budgeted for capital project; N21.5Billion has been released while the amount used is N11.4Billion.