17 independent power distributors get licences, 10 operational

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The Federal Government has issued licenses to 17 Independent Electricity Distribution Networks operators, among which 10 are currently operational, the government announced on Tuesday.

It disclosed this in the 2022 Market Competition Report released on Tuesday by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, an agency of the Federal Government.

The government revealed this while providing a breakdown of the country’s power distribution segment. Nigeria’s power sector is basically categorised into the electricity generation, transmission and distribution segments.

In November 2013 when the sector was unbundled into the three segments, 11 successor distribution companies were created and were privatised, as they have been serving the country since then, amidst complaints by consumers.

But in the just released 2022 Market Competition Report, the NERC said, “All the 11 successor Discos (distribution companies) have been privatised. Ownership and management of the Discos have been transferred to private investors.

“Additional private distribution company has been licensed in a specified franchised area. 17 Independent Electricity Distribution Networks’ operators have been licenced, of which 10 are operational as at December 2022.

“The regulator explained that the market competition report was prepared in compliance with Section 24(2) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2004, which mandates the commission to prepare an annual report for the minister as to the potential for competition in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.

“This report provides a review of the level of competition in the NESI and assesses the progress for a transition to a more competitive market. The report further provides recommendations for transition to a more competitive market pursuant to Section 26 of ESPRA.

“The report is directed at a wide spectrum of readers including government officials and institutions, private sector, energy economists, engineers, financial and market analysts, potential investors as well as general readers,” the commission stated.