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“Why government Should Decentralise National Grid”

With the inadequacy of the national grid to meet the growing electricity needs of Nigerians, some operators have advocated the decentralization of the grid to allow sub-national entities to generate and distribute electricity.
To achieve this, they asked that power generation and distribution should be removed from the exclusive list and moved to the concurrent list

One of such stakeholders, Kola Balogun, has equally advised the new Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, to chart a new roadmap to address generation, distribution and transmission challenges in the power sector.

Balogun, who is the Chairman, Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company (MEMMCOL) gave the advice in an interactive with the media

He said there was a need for a roadmap that would clearly define the goals of the power sector after seven years of privatisation without achieving the desired results.

According to him, the minister should engage in consultation with the stakeholders and come up with a comprehensive roadmap that will transform the sector.

He said: “Why do we continue to have a single grid that binds all of us together? We need to separate it in such a way that any state or local government can go into power generation and distribution to people within its area.

“If the power being generated is not enough, they can even buy from the national grid. So, power generation and distribution should be removed from the exclusive list and moved to the concurrent list.

“That is why we are advocating franchising, so that Nigerians will enjoy more supply. The entire process should be done in a way that investors are able to get back their funds while their customers will get fair bills in line with global best practices.”

Balogun noted that more investment was needed in the sector to upgrade feeders, transformers and substations across the country.

“If you are given an area to manage and you are bringing your investment, you need to recoup your investment and make profit on your investment.

“The power sector requires long term investments and loans should be considered for investors in the sector bearing that in mind.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) needs to re-orientate the commercial banks on what is required in the power sector and they should key in and become part of the process,” he said.

Balogun also called for an effective regulation of the sector, stressing that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) needs to be strengthened to carry out its statutory responsibilities.

He said: “NERC must be given the power to sack and appoint heads of power generation, transmission and distribution companies if the need arises just the way CBN is doing in the banking sector.”

“There is an element of discipline that is required for us in the sector in order to have a way forward, and this is currently missing.”

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