FG commence disbursement of N701 bln intervention funds to power sector beneficiaries

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The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), said on Monday nothing in the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act gives electricity distribution companies (DisCos) the exclusivity of metering in the sector.

He said the Federal Government has commenced the disbursement of N701 billion electricity intervention funds to beneficiaries.

According to him, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the release of N31 billion to Discos for metering in the power sector.

He spoke at the 18th Monthly Power Sector and Stakeholders’ meeting in Kumboso, Kano State.

The minister said: “Another action which took place is the FEC approval of the component that frozen the federal government of the judgement debt of N119billion and also released N39billion towards the supply of meters to DisCos.

Stressing that nothing hinders other investors from metering electricity consumers, Fashola said “while it is true that Discos have the obligation to meter customers, the law does not vest the monopoly of meter supply to the DisCos.

“Anybody who qualifies under the safety regulation by NEMSA and under the licenses issued by NERC can supply meters to customers under conditions approved by law. In other words, meter supply is an open but regulated business.

“You need the license from NERC to undertake it. You need to comply with testing and safety standards of NEMSA to produce, install or import the meters. But it is not a monopoly for Discos alone.”

The minister said he has received inquiries on whether state governments could produce their own power.

“Nothing in the Electric Sector Power Reform Act stops any state from doing so. What they need is to get the right license from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC),” he added.

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