Stakeholders Asks for the Establishment of Plateau Electricity Regulatory Agency

By Nurat Uthman

Energy consumers and other stakeholders in the energy subsector in Plateau State have called for the establishment of a Plateau State Electricity Regulatory Agency to regulate activities in the subsector and ensure value-addition to citizens and the economy.

They asked for this during a Policy Dialogue on the new Electricity Act and Energy Solutions for businesses through private sector investments held at the Government House in Jos.

The event, organized by the State Government through the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy in collaboration with the Corporation for International Cooperation, GIZ, saw participants discuss problems and give resolutions to guide the government in making policies to ensure improvements in the subsector.

The Head of Components, Policy, and Strategy of GIZ, Akinropo Omoware explained the opportunities embedded in the new Electricity Act and why the State should cease them to consolidate the ease of doing business and promote private investments that bring value to citizens.

He stressed that the State is at liberty to generate and regulate its energy sector in a way that would create jobs, bring development, and reiterate that such would guarantee a sustainable and affordable power supply in the State.

The State Commissioner for Water Resources and Energy, Noel Nkup noted that the dialogue will create an opportunity for the stakeholders to review the existing documents of the policy frameworks on the energy sector in the State and assured GIZ and all the stakeholders that the State government will put to use all meaningful contributions for the good of citizens.

In his address, the Secretary to State Government and Chairman, of the Ease of Doing Business Council, Mr. Samuel Jatau added that the administration of Governor Caleb Mutfwang understands the importance of energy as the major driver of development hence, the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Shimankar Valley Limited to provide 300-Megawatt hydro energy in the State.

In a presentation, the Director, Energy Access, in the State Ministry of Water Resources and Energy, Engineer Nuhu Lere gave an overview of the 2017 survey on the energy needs of the State and the actual energy supply in the State.

Lere who is also the Acting Managing Director of the State Energy Cooperation disclosed that as of 2017, “Plateau State needed 400 Megawatt, but the actual supply was only 120, the State was running on a deficit of 280 Megawatt. If appropriate measures are put in place, the State can produce even more than the 400 Megawatt needed to serve the State.”

Participants raised concerns about the Makeri and Pankshin sub-power stations that have not been fully activated to serve the State over the years and lamented that most businesses rely on power to thrive but not all of them can afford powering generators to supply them the needed energy hence, business owners are closing their businesses due to high cost of doing business in the State.

The event brought together participants from the energy sector like the Jos Electricity Distribution Company, NESCO, Shimankar Valley Limited, and electricity consumers, especially those operating the MSMEs in the State.

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