As part of efforts to address the country’s lingering power challenges, the Nigerian Senate yesterday passed a bill that will allow States and individuals to generate and distribute their own electricity.
According to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Senator Gabriel Suswam, the Bill seeks to, amongst others, provide a legal and institutional framework to leverage the gains of the privatization of the power sector in Nigeria. Suswan noted that with electricity being on the Concurrent List in the constitution, the passage of the Bill will enable states to license entities interested in power generation within each state.
And it will allow individuals, too?
Yes, the senator stated that any individual or firm generating electricity below one megawatt will not be required to get a license to do so. “The bill, when signed into law, will open up the space in the power industry and allows states or individuals with capacities to generate their own power and distribute”, he said. Arguing that it is the only way to resolve the country’s lingering power problem, Suswan said the Bill would ease restrictions “as to who will generate power and distribute”.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks, expressed hope that the lower legislative house would – like the senate – expedite action on the Bill and get it sent to the executive arm of government for presidential assent. “We would like to see a quick concurrence by the House of Representatives because time is of the essence as far as Nigeria is concerned when you talk about electricity and energy supplies in Nigeria”, Lawan said.