President Bola Tinubu has assented to the electricity bill, which was passed in July 2022 seeking to repeal the Electricity and Power Sector Reform Act, 2005, and thus becoming the Electricity Act, sources inside the villa tell BusinessDay.
The Electricity Act now consolidates all legislations dealing with the electricity supply industry to provide an omnibus and ideal Institutional framework to guide the post-privatization phase of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry and encourage private sector investments in the sector.
The primary aim of the bill, as stated in its very first section, is to create a comprehensive legal and institutional framework to guide the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
It de-monopolises the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity at the National level, to empower States, companies and individuals to generate, transmit and distribute electricity.
States would also be able to issue licenses to private investors who have the ability to operate mini-grids and power plants within the State, but such State licenses are not to extend to inter-state or transnational distribution of electricity
This is the culmination of two years’ work, to update the electricity law and bring it in line with what the constitution actually provides,” one source said.
Nigeria’s constitution as amended provides for shared power between the Federal and state government in terms of making laws for electricity. But this is not the practice on account of the Electricity Reform Act which empowers NERC to carry out regulation across the country.
Nigeria’s journey to this current status started first with clarifying the position of the constitution that recognises joint regulatory powers leading to the constitutional amendment assented to in March by former President Muhammadu Buhari.