Principal officers from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) recently engaged in a fruitful discussion during a courtesy visit to the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). Mr Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN. The meeting highlighted various aspects of NERC’s pivotal role in overseeing the nation’s electricity sector, emphasizing its commitment to consumer protection and the exploration of legal collaboration.
An Overview of NERC’s Role:
During the meeting, NERC outlined its foundational role as an independent regulator established in 2005. The commission’s responsibilities include issuing licenses, monitoring industry activities, and establishing operating quotas for the electricity sector. Despite facing challenges, the NERC expressed satisfaction with its efforts to navigate the complex regulatory landscape outlined in the NERC Act.
A significant focus of the discussion revolved around customer protection regulations developed by NERC. The regulations aim to prevent the exploitation of consumers by electricity authorities. NERC shared insights into the establishment of customer complaint units (CCUs) nationwide, reinforcing their commitment to prompt resolution of consumer issues.
Gratitude was extended to the NBA for its past support, particularly in the participation of members in NERC’s forum. The collaboration, initiated by NERC, sought to explore additional areas of cooperation with the legal community, addressing both consumer-centric concerns and broader legal perspectives within the electricity sector.
The President of the NBA acknowledged NERC’s recognition of the legal profession’s importance in society and its critical role in ensuring the institution fulfils its statutory functions. The commitment to providing direction and advancing the nation’s cause was underscored, emphasizing lawyers’ unique contributions to understanding and applying regulations.
Addressing the challenges in Nigeria’s electricity sector, the NBA President lamented the nation’s slow progress, with only 13,000 megawatts of installed capacity after 120 years of electricity generation. The importance of power in national development was stressed, with a call for increased awareness and commitment to tackling neglect and corruption in the sector.
Collaboration with Nigerian Bar Association:
The NBA President affirmed the association’s commitment to supporting NERC in fulfilling its statutory responsibilities. A pledge was made to stand by NERC’s side, providing collaboration and assistance wherever needed. The NBA expressed readiness to contribute to the growth of the electricity sector and help address the challenges hindering its progress.
Looking ahead, the discussion shifted to the collaboration’s practical aspects, with the chairperson of the NBA Annual General Conference 2024 expressing excitement about potential joint initiatives. The upcoming conference was identified as a platform for NERC to participate in a dedicated session, shedding light on dispute resolution mechanisms and generating awareness among lawyers about the intricacies of electricity generation, transmission, consumption, and distribution.
In addition to the conference, plans for a capacity-building workshop initiated by the NBA Abuja (Unity Bar) were revealed. NERC disclosed its intention to host the workshop, focusing on the Electricity Act and other industry-related topics. This proactive measure further underscores both organisations’ commitment to fostering understanding and collaboration in Nigeria’s electricity sector’s legal and regulatory landscape.
Names of members of the NERC who paid the courtesy visit:
- Aisha Mahmud, Commissioner, Consumer Affairs
- Ahmadu Zubairu, General Manager/Head, Legal, Licensing and Compliance Division
- Shittu Shaibu, Deputy General Manager/Head, Consumer Affairs Division
- Hauwa Yakubu, Deputy General Manager, Legal, Licensing and Compliance
- Babatunde Zubair, Assistant General Manager/Head, Consumer Enlightenment Unit
- Kanneng Gwom, Assistant General Manager/Head, Customer Service Standards
- Effiom Ene Tony-Ray, Assistant General Manager/Head, Forum Offices Administration
- Hassan Haliru Gwandu, Principal Manager, Forum Office Administration
- Vanessa Sado, Analyst, Consumer Enlightenment
- Simon Sunday, Public Affairs Department
In conclusion, the collaborative efforts between NERC and the NBA signify a shared vision to address challenges, promote consumer protection, and enhance transparency within the Nigerian electricity sector. The initiatives discussed, from conference sessions to capacity-building workshops, reflect a commitment to mutual growth and advancing Nigeria’s energy regulatory framework.
NBA | Judiciary | Ethics | Career & Practice | Public Interest |
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