Move To Split TCN, Pitches Power Ministry Against NERC | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Move To Split TCN, Pitches Power Ministry Against NERC

Posted: Jun 9, 2015 at 12:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The move by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to set up an Independent System Operators (ISO), from the present Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) may have placed the commission in direct collision with the Ministry of Power.

The Ministry is reported to have, in the past six months, restructured the operation of TCN, creating in the process an ISO and another entity, Transmission Service Provider (TSP), a process, NERC views as illegal going by the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSR) 2005.

The restructuring saw the Ministry sideline Manitoba Hydro which was given a management contract for TCN by the Federal Government in 2013 for $3million.

The Ministry is said to have appointed new officials to run the market operations of TCN without NERC’s approval. Particularly, a Chief Executive without the pre-requisite qualification is said to have appointed in disregard to requirement that states that such position must be occupied by a COREN registered engineer.

And in a counter move, NERC has proposed to create a small ISO with a not-for-profit structure that would be operated by electricity market participants through a board, to manage the sector’s grid codes.

The proposed creation of an ISO and TSP would mean the end of the TCN as the new entities would both function as market and system operators in line with Sections 65 and 66 of the EPSR Act 2005.

NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, informed a stakeholders forum in Abuja that though the ISO is provided for in the Act, the operators would have to decide it is needed now.

Amadi said the commission has “no pre-disposed or pre-concluded views on any of these issues. The ISO is provided for in the EPSR Act. It is now left for the industry, whether it is appropriate at this stage, what would be the model, the nature it would take, who should own it, the management structure and how it should operate largely in line with the Market Rules and the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act.”

He noted that regulation is “not popularism, so, we envisage that there would be some issues around this proposal. That is why it is presented before every one of us. You will be able to see some of the issues that we have identified.

“This presentation is to allow us to profit from the wisdom of industry operators, fellow regulators, policy makers in the industry, as well as consumers who themselves are responsible or are the ‘victims’ of estimation arising from lack of metering. I do hope that you will clearly make your views known.”