By Femi Ogunshola
The House of Representatives on Thursday in Abuja moved to amend the Power sector reform Act of 2005, to strengthen the sector for efficient service delivery; and for related matters.
Rep Magaji Aliyu, Chairman, House committee on Power, leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, told the House that the amendment sought was long overdue.
He said that the amendment was with a view to providing the legal and institutional framework for the implementation and coordination of rural electrification projects.
Aliyu said that the amendment also sought the establishment of the National Power Training Institute and Regulatory Provisions, as well as the establishment of a Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Agency.
The document in clause 32 introduced a new clause ”94A”, after the existing section 94 in the principal Act to provide stiffer penalties for crimes committed against electrical infrastructure.
Giving a background to his presentation, Aliyu reminded his colleagues that the Act was enacted as far back as 2005 as a consolidated legal framework to regulates the power sector in Nigeria.
“For about one and a half decade, the Act has not been amended until now, following increasing challenges that affect the efficiency, corporate stability and prospects of the power sector,” he said.
He said that in exercise of its powers, the Committee on Power initiated amendment of the Act aimed to overcome the challenges for a better power sector in Nigeria.
According to him, the proposal was supported by inputs from stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Power, Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), power generation companies, Association of Nigeria Electricity Distribution and the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria.
In the absence of any dissenting voice, the bill was passed and referred to the committee on power for further legislative actions. (NAN)