News Column

New Rules May Compel Discos to Refund Network Private Investments

August 7, 2014

Obas Esiedesa

Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Wednesday said a new regulation that will compel electricity distribution companies (Discos) to repay individuals or communities who invest in the network will stand despite oppositions from the discos.

NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi told journalists in Abuja at a public consultation on the commission's draft regulations on rate review and investment in electricity, that such investments could no longer be ignored.

He said the new rule seeks to establish a process which government, individuals and communities could invest in the network and how such investments could be recovered.

According to him, "Many communities are making investments in the network, they are saying we provide transformers, we pay fixed charge and at the same time we do not get the power.

"Now we are saying if people make investments in the net work whether as individuals, community or government, the disco in that jurisdiction has the responsibility to have to repay those people or find a way through energy credit to make them not have double payments.

"Otherwise it will be very wrong for them to make investments and at the same time they cannot recover and they still pay the same amount of money.

"So these regulations are critical to deal with the market and communities concern and it will ensure that by the time we declare TEM in a couple of months the market will be ready for all the features of a competitive electricity market in Nigeria".

Amadi explained that the time the rules are approved it will stipulate "that they (Discos) must be able to take notice of all investments, and they must be able to put in their investments register because we want to make sure that there is orderly in which we invest in this sector. Both from the government and from individuals and that every investment must be accounted for and those we that investment must have sense that their investments are being repaid.

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Source: AllAfrica

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