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Nigeria issues 13 new power generation, distribution licences to investors

*The Federal Government through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory issues 13 fresh licences to investors, for the generation of off-grid and embedded power, independent electricity distribution, as well as trading of electricity in the economy

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In a renewed bid to improve electricity generation, transmission, distribution, trading and system operations in the West African country, the Federal Government through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory (NERC) has issued 13 fresh licences for the generation of off-grid and embedded power, independent electricity distribution, as well as trading of electricity.

ConsumerConnect reports NERC disclosed, in its Q3 Report, that the Commission awarded the new 13 licences Third Quarter (Q3) of 2023.

The Commission noted the cumulative quantum of electricity to be generated by the licensees was 40.9 megawatts.

The power regulator, under the section titled, ‘Licences and Permits Issued or Renewed,’ said that five new off-grid generation licences that would generate 8.81MW were issued during the review period, as well as one new licence for embedded generation of 5MW.

NERC equally noted on other licences issued tilo investors, that “one new licence for Independent Electricity Distribution Network, one new licence for trading, three off-grid generation licences, one embedded generation, and one IEDN licence.”

The report further explained that the regulatory Commission issues licences for electricity generation, transmission, distribution, trading and system operations in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

It stated: “For activities that do not require licenses based on the provisions of sections 65-68 of the Electricity Act 2023, but still require authorisation from the commission, such as off-grid captive power generation and mini-grid development, the commission issues permits to the operators following a review of the relevant applications.”

Character of new power industry licensees

As regards information on on the 13 new power generation, distribution and trading licences, the NERC in its report as well stated that Daybreak Power Solutions Limited received eight licences for various off-grid power generation projects in Lagos, Abia, Borno, Kano, Oyo and Abuja.

Ekiti Independent Power Project got a licence for the development of a gas-fired 5MW embedded power project to be constructed in Ekiti State.

Olokiti Power Distribution Limited received an Independent Electricity Distribution Network licence that would be operational in Ekiti State.

Ember Power Limited got an electricity trading licence, while Island Power Limited got a licence for the development of a 10MW embedded gas-fired power project in Lagos.

Besides, Energy Company of Nigeria Limited got an Independent Electricity Distribution Network licence that would be operational in Lagos State, according to the regulation noted.

On Nigeria’s current power generation capacity

Nigeria generates between 3,500MW and 5,000MW of electricity for the over 200 million consumers across the country.

However, analysts and scores of Nigerian electricity have said over time that the development as anti-progress for Africa’s biggest economy.

It was learnt that the country’s power generation at 6a.m. Monday, January 15, 2024, was 4,357.09MW.

Whereas peak power generation the preceding day was 4,579.5MW, while off-peak power generation on the same day was 4,062.98MW.

Incidentally, in several parts of Nigeria, particularly rural communities, experience blackouts due to the country’s meagre power generation, distribution and supply capabilities in the power industry.

Nigeria, June last year, was also designated the country with the largest number of people lacking access to electricity.

About 86 million of its over 200 million population were living without electricity as of 2021, according to a joint report by some international agencies.

The report compiled by the International Energy Agency, International Renewable Energy Agency, United Nations and the World Health Organisation, stated that the countries with the largest number of people without access to electricity as of 2021 include Nigeria (86 million), Democratic Republic of the Congo (76 million), and Ethiopia (55 million).

Current efforts at improving lot of power sector

The Federal Government and operators in the power supply space, meanwhile, are said to be making efforts at increasing the country’s electricity output over the years, which led to the privatisation of the successor generation and distribution companies November 2013.

The issuance of licences for the generation of electricity by the government through NERC is another way of boosting the country’s power supply and reducing the number of persons who lack electricity, a report said.

It is noted that individual and power consumer groups have repeatedly condemned the poor electricity supply in Nigeria despite the trillions of Naira invested in the sector by successive administrations, especially 1999, when the country returned to democratic governance.

Concerned power consumers also have also urged the government and industry operators to work harder to deliver adequate electricity to Nigerian homes, businesses and organisations.

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