June 17, 2024

Ekiti Govt hails transfer of regulatory oversight of Ekiti electricity market to state government

The Ekiti State Government has described the official transfer of regulatory oversight by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to the Ekiti Electricity Regulatory Bureau (EERB) as a remarkable milestone that would reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks in the efforts to ensure seamless supply and distribution of electricity in the state.

The State Commissioner for Information, Rt Hon Taiwo Olatunbosun, in a statement made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti, noted that being one of the first two States in the country to officially take regulatory oversight of the electricity markets in their States made the feat more astounding.

Rt Hon Olatunbosun explained that the development was in compliance with the amended Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) and the Electricity Act 2023 (Amended) as well as the order of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

Attributing the turn of events to efforts of Governor Oyebanji to ensure provision of uninterrupted electricity supply, Olatunbosun reiterated the commitment of the present administration to developing the State and improving the lots of the people, adding that the State Government was particularly passionate about provision of stable electricity to boost socioeconomic activities in the state.

He elucidated that the State Government had requested for the transfer of regulatory oversight of the intrastate electricity market in the State, adding that the request for transfer was in fulfilment of NERC’s mandate to interested States to make formal requests to NERC to transfer regulatory authority over electricity operations to the State Regulator.

The government spokesman stressed that the State Electricity Regulatory Bureau (SERB) would henceforth be responsible for enforcing the provisions of the law including issuing of licenses and permits for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity across the State; enforcing the yearly energy efficiency compliance certification for vendors and marketers of energy products as well as the certification of energy professionals, contractors and companies and all other functions previously performed in the State by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

Olatunbosun added that the Bureau would also be in charge of carrying out electrical inspection, monitoring and certification of new and existing electricity networks as well as enforcing statutory technical electrical standards and regulations for safety and security across the state and other functions previously performed by National Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA).

According to him, Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company PLC (IBEDC) have been directed to incorporate subsidiaries (BEDC SubCo and IBEDC SubCo) to assume responsibilities for intrastate supply and distribution of electricity in the State from BEDC and IBEDC within 60 days.

Olatunbosun explained further that the sub-companies would thereafter be expected to apply for and obtain licenses for the intrastate supply and distribution of electricity from EERB, among other directives.

Stressing that all transfers are envisaged to be completed before the end of October 2024, the Commissioner stated that the move would boost efforts to achieve uninterrupted supply and distribution of electricity in the State.

Highlighting the achievements of administration of Governor Oyebanji in the power sector, Olatunbosun stated that apart from the establishment of the 5-Megawatt Independent Power Project, which is currently providing uninterrupted power supply to Government Offices and some other key government installations in the state capital, the Oyebanji administration had also rehabilitated and connected Erijiyan, Ikogosi and Ikogosi Resorts back to the National Grid to enhance the State tourism corridor.

Other achievements of the administration include rehabilitation and connection of Ipole lloro-Ekiti back to the National Grid, rehabilitation and reconnection of ljan, Ilumoba, Aisegba, Agbado, Imesi, Ode, Isinbode, Egbe, Iro-Ayeteju and Omuo in Ayekire and Ekiti East LGAs and their LCDAs back to the National Grid as well as the extension of 33KV network from 132KV Omisanjana transmission substation to Baptist High School and the connection of Ilawe Dedicated 33KV feeder line with Erijiyan-Ekiti.

The administration also installed 500kVA 33/0.415 relief transformer at Ikogosi, extended electricity from Eruku, Kwara State to the agricultural zone in lyemero and extension of electricity from Omuo-Ekiti to Eda-Ile, Ikun Oba, Araromi and Ilasa Ekiti while several other initiatives including the extension of a dedicated 33kv feeder line from Omisanjana through Ilawe to Igbara Odo are ongoing.

In his remarks, the State Commissioner for Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Prof Bolaji Aluko welcomed the “definitive statement by NERC, and look forward to working closely with it, NEMSA, the Federal Ministry of Power, BEDC and IBEDC during this transition period for the full realization of the lofty goals of ECA2023 and EA2023.

“More legal frameworks and a solid financial structuring still need to be done, but we are confident that these will in time be properly put in place.”

He also expressed appreciation to Governor Oyebanji for his support towards achieving the feat.

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