BPE, NERC promise improved power supply

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Abuja – Mr Benjamin Dikki, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), has promised to work with the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to ensure improved electricity supply in the country.

Dikki said that the two organisations would ensure that the new owners of the power companies met the country’s expectations of adequate power supply.

This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday made available to newsmen by the Head, Public Communications, Mr Chigbo Aniechebe.

Dikki said that the bureau was aware of the high expectations of Nigerians from the outcome of the power sector reform.

He said that this necessitated the BPE and NERC to put in place monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the new owners of the power companies fulfilled their obligations to improve power supply.

Dikki said that during the privatisation exercise, documents were signed to give BPE and NERC the power to monitor these companies after the sales to help them ensure that power supply improved.

He said that these agreements were the Share Sale and Purchase Agreement (SSPA), Performance Agreements (PA), BPE’s Post Privatisation Monitoring Template, NERC’s Reporting Compliance Regulation and NERC’s Terms and Conditions of Licensing.

“SSPA clearly spells out the terms and conditions of sale of shares to the investors, while the PA contain terms of payment and Post Acquisition Plans implementation.

“It also stipulates clear milestones the investor must achieve within a specified period.

“The NERC’s Reporting Compliance Regulations clearly outlines the level of compliance to set standards by the companies.

“Also, NERC’s license terms and conditions is the document that shows the mandatory requirements for acquiring a license and the violation of the terms will lead to NERC’s withdrawal of the license,” he said.

Dikki said that among the documents was the Compliance Monitoring which gave BPE the right to audit, enter and monitor privatised enterprises every six months upon five days notice to the company.

“The performance obligations and liquidated damages mandates the purchaser to ensure the company achieves the minimum performance targets, failing which the purchaser shall be made liable to pay liquidated damages for performance below agreed standards.

“The purchaser must comply with Post Acquisition Plan and initial budget which the consent of BPE is required for annual revisions to budgets and plans for first five years and afterwards.

“BPE will have the veto rights regarding certain expenditures as provided in the reserved matters,” the statement said.

Dikki said that the privatisation of the sector was to improve electricity supply in the country so as to create employment and attract massive investments across the country.

“The other objectives of the reform is to repeal monopoly laws that restricted entry into the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry and the liberalisation of the sector to create an enabling environment for private sector investment.

“Also it was aimed at creating a regulatory agency with full powers to regulate the sector and to ensure the separation of the roles of policy formulation, regulation and operations.

“The intent of the reform was also the creation of an electricity market that is private sector-driven,” he said. (NAN)

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