- The long drawn disputes over the 20-year lease granted to Geometric Power Aba Limited to generate, transmit and distribute electricity in the Aba and Ariaria business districts of the Enugu electricity distribution network would have been sorted out if not for the subsisting lawsuits filed by the contending parties. This was a statement made by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday.
- NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, disclosed this in Abuja that long before the expiration of the term of former President Goodluck Jonathan, he (Jonathan) had granted his consent to determine the dispute, using its regulatory powers but that his initial efforts were bungled by the lawsuits.
- Amadi stated that the commission had quickly acted on the presidential consent, and first move to set up a public hearing in line with standard regulatory practices, but had to subsequently pull back following a notice of existing lawsuits by the contending parties.
- According to him, a quick resolve of the dispute would reinforce NERC’s policy to encourage investment in embedded power generation in the country.
- He noted that like it had always held, the lease dispute is best resolved through the regulator of the sector as done in other climes, adding that for the sake of NERC’s new push to encourage investment in the embedded power generation, it hopes to quickly end the matter for public good.
“With regards to Aba and Interstates, NERC has always being transparent and very open. After the sale of the assets to Interstate and Geometric Aba Power protested, we did three things; we set up a committee to go to Aba and verify what they have done, Geometric is our licensee, don’t forget, for generation and Aba power has a distribution licence too.
- The law says that no licence is exclusive and NERC can change the license based on public interest. The key thing here is public interest and the only way to gain that is to go through a public hearing,” he added.
Speaking on its need for government’s approval to revisit the issue, Amadi noted: “We played safe before now but under the new dispensation, if we are re-authorised to look into the matter, we will.