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REA Holds Roundtable Meetings With Power Project Developers Under The Energizing Economies Initiative For Effective Service Delivery

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REA Holds Roundtable Meetings With Power Project Developers Under The Energizing Economies Initiative For Effective Service Delivery

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Rural Electrification Agency held a roundtable meeting with Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI) Private Power Developers at the Corporate Headquarters on March 24, 2022.

Discussions at the roundtable were centered on identifying implementation gaps, improving service delivery, and strengthening the initiative to achieve the desired goal of providing constant and reliable electricity in economic clusters across the Federation.

The Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI) is a Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) initiative being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). The focus of the EEI is to electrify economic clusters in Nigeria – which include markets, shopping plazas/complexes, and industrial clusters in line with the FGN’s goal of increasing electricity access.

The REA is mandated to implement the initiative through Technical Assistance to private project developers; this includes identification and audit of economic clusters, facilitation of engagement with key stakeholders, and technical support for project development and operation. Over 300 clusters have been identified for electrification across the country in different phases. So far, over 12,000 shops are now receiving clean, safe, reliable, and affordable electricity supply.

At launch, the Pilot Phase of the Energizing Economies Initiative has commissioned the Sura Shopping Complex Independent Power Project in Lagos State powering 1,047 shops, as well as the Ariaria International Market (Independent Power Project), Aba, Abia State, powering over 4,000 shops.

REA Holds Roundtable Meetings With Power Project Developers Under The Energizing Economies Initiative For Effective Service Delivery

Also, launched were over 6,000 energized shops at Sabon Gari market, Kano State with more connections in the pipeline. The EEI developers were sufficiently represented at the Roundtable, with representatives from Ariaria International Market Energy Solutions (AMES) Limited, Solad Integrated Power Solutions Limited, Rensource Energy Limited, and Green Village Electricity (GVE) Projects Limited all present at the REA.

In the course of discussions at the Roundtable, the setbacks faced by the Private Developers as stated by their representatives include; technical and legal solutions to customer bypass, funding constraints, gas unavailability, power shortage, and system collapse due to system capacity, inadequate provision of metering, electricity vending system issues, and challenges with customer service delivery.

The Agency while acknowledging the challenges faced by the Developers, reiterated the need for them to deliver on their obligations as enshrined in their bilateral and tripartite agreements. It emphasized that some obligations are not being met by the Developers in view of the performance of their projects. In addition, some of these challenges are externally induced (such as gas availability constraints). However, many of these challenges are within the Developer’s control and they must do more to mitigate these and get their projects back on track.

The Agency advised the Developers to strengthen their communication culture by proactively updating their customers on key information and/or technical issues in order to keep their stakeholders up-to-date, per time.

While responding to the challenges raised by the Agency, the private developers agreed to step up towards ensuring the issues are addressed and services improved in all affected markets, while such efforts will further serve as mitigation measures in upcoming EEI projects.

The REA pointed out that it is currently conducting Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Exercise on the EEI Markets. The output of the work will help inform REA on how best to support the initiative as well as existing projects.

The Federal Government is keen on the success of the initiative and the REA plans to create an enabling environment where the Private Sector Developer handles all the project delivery steps from inception to conclusion. Deployment is currently ongoing in markets under Phase 1 of the EEI. In 2019, a Tripartite Agreement between Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Green Village Electricity (GVE), and Wuse Market Association was signed for the development of 1MW Interconnected Mini-grid.

The Phase 2 rollout plans are currently in view and conversations have begun between the Developers, State Governments, and other key stakeholders. Baseline Surveys and Energy Audits are currently being conducted for 98 Markets across the country. The Agency is also exploring ways to secure concessionary finance and Technical Assistance to further support EEI Developers.REA Holds Roundatable Meetings With Power Project Developers Under The Energizing Economies Initiative For Effective Service Delivery

ABOUT REA: Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is the Implementing Agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), under the Federal Ministry of Power, tasked with the electrification of unserved and underserved communities with the aim to catalyze economic growth and improve quality of life for Nigerians.

The REA is currently administering the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) and implementing the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) and a number of initiatives in furtherance of its mandate: Energizing Education Programme (EEP), Grid Extension (Capital Projects), Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI), Solar Power Naija Programme, Energy for All – ‘Mass Rural Electrification’ and Research and Innovation Hub.

The Agency is responsible for creating an enabling environment for private sector-led projects, which include conducting pre-feasibility assessments, energy audits, enumeration, data analysis, identification of qualified private sector developers, and project stakeholder engagements and community engagements for awareness creation.

To give effect to some of its initiatives, REA has obtained financing amounting to $550 million ($350 million from the World Bank and $200 million from the African Development Bank) for financing the Nigeria Electrification Project, and an additional $11 million for financing the Rural Electrification Fund for the deployment of Solar hybrid mini-grids and solar home systems. These funds will ensure that millions of Nigerians have access to clean, safe, reliable, and affordable electricity.

For further information please contact the Rural Electrification Agency (info@rea.gov.ng)

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PwC’s Held Annual Power And Utilities Roundtable

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PwC's Held Annual Power And Utilities Roundtable

By Moninuola Sulaiman

PwC’s has held the 13th annual power and utility roundtable recently in Lagos.

The Annual Power and Utility Roundtable is part of PWC’s contribution to the ongoing reforms in the Nigerian power sector.

It is a forum for key players to discuss the present and the future of a fully privatised Nigerian power sector.

The 13th edition of the PwC annual power and utility roundtable took place recently in Lagos. The event, which was hybrid, brought together stakeholders across the value chain.

PwC's Held Annual Power And Utilities Roundtable
Left-Right: MD, Azura Power West Africa Limited, Mr Edu Okeke; Component Lead, Standalone Solar Home Systems (SHS) Nigeria Electrification Project, REA, Lande Abudu; former MD, Transmission Company of Nigeria TCN, Dr. Usman Gur Mohammed, and Partner, Energy, Utilities and Resources, PwC Nigeria, Akinyemi Akingbade during the PwC’s annual Power and Utilities Roundtable held in Lagos.

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Eko Disco Assures Lagos Island Communities, Others Of Electrical Equipment For Improved Power Supply

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Eko Disco Assures Lagos Island Communities, And Others Of Electrical Equipment For Improved Power Supply

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) took its town hall meeting to Islands District on Thursday to further its strategic engagement with customers under its franchise network. Held at the Virgin Rose Resorts in Victoria Island, the forum was attended by residents of Lagos Island, Victoria Island, and Ikoyi environs.

According to a statement by the EKEDC General Manager, Corporate Communications, Godwin Idemudia, the Island District is strategic to our business, hence the importance of the engagement forum to help the Management to identify areas of improving power supply to the customers.

While commending EKEDC for the recent improvement of power supply and turnaround time to clearing faults, the customers at the meeting raised the issue of old and overloaded distribution infrastructure affecting supply in their communities. Many residents from Lagos Island complained about the faults as a result of weak underground cables and overloaded transformers and thus requested solutions from DisCo.

Eko Disco Assures Lagos Island Communities, And Others Of Electrical Equipment For Improved Power Supply
Left-Right: Divisional Crime Officer of Ikoyi Police Divisional Headquarters, Mr. Ishola Olaitan; EKEDC Chief Commercial Officer, Mrs. Rekhiat Momoh; Chairman, Odunfa Feeder Lagos Island, Pastor Odunloye Abisoye; and EKEDC Islands District Manager, Mr. Hakeem Fashola at the Customer Engagement Forum by the Disco on Thursday in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Reacting to the customers’ queries, the MD/CEO of EKEDC, Dr. Tinuade Sanda, represented by the Chief Commercial Officer, Mrs. Rekhiat Momoh, appreciated the customers’ feedback and explained that the presence of weak and old cables in the network was due to construction of buildings on such cables, which has made it difficult to carry out repairs. She however stated that EKEDC is devising alternative means to mitigate this challenge. Concerning the issue of the overloaded transformers, she assured the customers that the company, as part of its continuous improvements projects is working on providing relief distribution transformers to many areas under the Islands District.

The Divisional Crime Officer of Ikoyi Police Divisional Headquarters, Mr. Ishola Olaitan, explained to customers at the forum that the spate of vandalism in Ikoyi and Lagos Island also contributes to the damage of cables. He called on the customers to aid the Police Force and EKEDC in curbing the crime by reporting to the Police or EKEDC via its whistleblower platforms.

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BEDC: AGF Is Wrong That Ex Parte Order Expires By Effluxion Of Time

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BEDC Assures Stakeholders Of Restoration Of Board, Management

Court of Appeal in DEUX PROJECTS LIMITED & 3 ORS V. ACCESS BANK PLC – APPEAL NO. CA/LAG/CV/1342/2019

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The legal opinion purportedly issued by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami on the alleged refusal of the Managing Director of Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, to vacate office is unfortunate and inconsistent with position of the law.

It is doubtful if such a legal opinion could emanate from the office of the AGF in view of the decision of the Court of Appeal in DEUX PROJECTS LIMITED & 3 ORS V. ACCESS BANK PLC – APPEAL NO. CA/LAG/CV/1342/2019 delivered on 14/12/2020 at page pages 25 – 26 of the judgment where the court held that an ex parte order of the Federal High Court does not expire by effluxion of time until the court so pronounces.

According to the Court of Appeal judgment, per Balkisu Bello Aliyu JCA, it is for the judge to still determine whether the ex parte order granted by him has expired and until such pronouncement is made, the order remains extant and binding.

The rationale behind the decision of the Court of Appeal cited above is to prevent anarchy and lawlessness where a party to a suit may unilaterally declare an ex parte order as having expired and take the law into his own hands.

The said statement credited to Mr. Malami describing a court order as having expired is based on ignorance of the decision of the Coury of Appeal earlier cited which represents the current position of the law. The order of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1113/2022 was granted by the court pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice. The Attorney General of the Federation has no judicial powers to declare a court order expired by any provision of the law.

The opinion credited to the AGF is on a matter adjourned for hearing and to come up on the 5th day of October 2022. Neither party to the proceedings nor the office of the AGF can nullify the order of the court on the ground that it had expired. Would that opinion be a justification for the Bureau of Public Enterprises to again invade with force the offices of BEDC and illegally sack Mrs. Osibodu from office?

In the first place, what legal authority did the Bureau of Public Enterprises have to sack the management of a company of which the government has only 40%? A government that has no judicial order or judgment to invade business premises by force is tantamount to what the Supreme Court described as executive lawlessness in Ojukwu v. Governor of Lagos State.

It is on record that the National Electricity Regulatory Commission and BPE did not obtain any court order before unilaterally announcing the dissolution of a company board in which the Federal Government is a minority shareholder. Even if the FGN were to be a majority shareholder, it cannot unilaterally dissolve the Board except where permitted by law.

It is advised that the office of the Honourable Attorney General, of the Federation, should desist from promoting lawlessness if the opinion really emanated from his office.

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