Power projects: NERC to give Nigerians first consideration

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory
Commission has said it is working on a national content regulation that will give priority to Nigerian operators and workers in the power sector.
According to NERC, the regulation, billed to
be released by the third quarter of 2013, will
set out guidelines in which Nigerians will be
given first consideration in the areas of project execution, employment, training and
technology transfer, among others.

The commission, in a statement on Sunday,
said the move was to ensure that the Nigerian electricity industry gave priority to indigenous stakeholders in the sector.
It stressed that the action would forestall the
pitfalls noticed in the other sectors of the

The statement quoted the Commissioner,
Legal, Licensing and Enforcement, NERC, Mr. Steven Andzenge, as saying, “There will be a need for skilled manpower and the regulator has the responsibility of ensure the delivery of manpower needs.”
NERC said the regulation was necessitated by the need to better position the electricity
industry at this critical stage in its
development, drawing valuable lessons from
the local content initiatives of other sectors.

The Commissioner, Market, Competition and
Rates, Mr. Eyo Ekpo, said, “I believe strongly
that we should do everything possible to avoid the pitfalls experienced in the oil and gas and telecommunications sectors.”

The Federal Government has constantly said
that the implementation of the Nigerian
Content Act was for the benefit of the citizens and communities, and not an effort to nationalise the assets of foreign companies in various economic sectors in the country.
According to the government, the Act is not
intended to indigenise the industry or
nationalise assets of investors in the Nigerian economy.

Rather, it sets out provisions that guarantee
that investments made in facilities within the
country will be fully utilised and that the
government will ensure that the rights of every investor is protected under the law.
Meanwhile, the Presidency has said political
organisations that describe the ongoing power roadmap as policy reversal are mischievous and lack understanding of facts in the sector.

The All Nigeria Peoples Party had last week
accused the Federal Government of not
demonstrating the right capacity to bring
about improvement in power generation in the country.
According to the party, energy efficiency and
renewable sources of power are not being
developed effectively to supply power to the
people as being done in other parts of the

In a reaction to the statement by the ANPP,
the Presidential Task Force on Power said on Sunday that for any political organisation to call the power roadmap process a policy
somersault was patent misunderstanding of the facts.


Adeola Adebowale

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