Nigeria Governors' Forum, Stakeholders deliberate on sub-national electricity market potentials.

Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the British High Commission have concluded plans to convene a Roundtable meeting on the sub-national electricity market to unlock the potential.

Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the British High Commission have concluded plans to convene a Roundtable meeting on the sub-national electricity market to unlock the potential.

According to the Organisers, the Roundtable meeting with the theme: ‘The Electricity Act 2023: Implications and Opportunities for State Electricity Markets’, and scheduled for 25th and 26th October, 2023, will be funded by the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) and implemented by UKNIAF.

This two-day event is a High-Level Roundtable is expected to provide an opportunity for States to dialogue on potential pathways for accelerating energy access for their citizens as envisaged in the new Act, with input from key stakeholders such as the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Northern Governors Forum, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Development Partners and a select number of internationally renowned experts in the field of regional electricity markets.

According to a statement issued by NGF Media office, the objectives of the Roundtable meeting is to: identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats linked to the new Electricity Act 2023, as well as strategies for navigating emerging challenges; To raise awareness around mechanisms in place at the NGF to support state electricity markets.

Participants are also expected to take stock of ongoing state-specific initiatives in the Power sector, explore regional and international best practice examples for implementing sub-national electricity markets from countries with relevant electricity market structures and identify potential entry points for regional initiatives and collaboration going forward, categorise States’ readiness for a market into Red, Yellow, and Green, each with an indicative assessment of gaps that need to be addressed.

It would be recalled that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu signed the Nigeria Electricity Act 2023 was signed into law on 9th June 2023 with a view to “de-monopolizing Nigeria’s electricity sector.

“Earlier in March 2023, former President Buhari signed a constitutional amendment to paragraph 14(b) of the Concurrent Legislative List removing the restriction on states from making laws on electricity generation, transmission, and distribution in areas covered by the national grid within their States.

“Following these shifts in sector law and policy, conversations have been ongoing amongst stakeholders to assess the impact of these changes on various aspects and interests within the power sector.

“While some of these stakeholder conversations have focused on the legal ramifications of the new Act, others, such as the NERC stakeholder meeting, are focused on a range of attendant issues across the electricity delivery value chain.

“Since the Constitutional Amendment, UKNIAF has been approached by several states for support in setting up their State Electricity Markets. This roundtable creates an opportunity for a single event with participation from as many State functionaries as possible to give insights on this evolution of the electricity sector in Nigeria and hopefully provide a helpful how-to guide on the way forward.

“The proposed roundtable adds value at two levels. Firstly, it aims to optimize the reach of UKNIAF intervention in this space by bringing together State Governments and regional development agencies as participants in one event.

“Secondly, it seeks to focus on the implications of the law for potential state markets as well as the potential for regional initiatives that could, through scale, yield faster and more impactful results. It will facilitate discussions around questions like ‘What are the practical limitations to the implementation of the Act, and what picture does this paint for the future electricity market in Nigeria?

“This facilitated approach will consider the progress made so far by states like Lagos, where state-specific sector laws, policies, and initiatives, such as a State Integrated Resource Plan, were already in place before the Constitution was amended.

“The roundtable will also feature expert input on other countries’ experiences and global best practices. Internationally, countries that have embarked on or implemented a reform process started with a monopolistic system based primarily on vertical integration of generation, transmission, and distribution (though not necessarily within a single organisation).

“With reform, there has been a move towards separating the natural monopolies of transmission and distribution networks and the actual or potentially competitive generation and retail supply activities. Countries have moved at different paces, and the detailed nature of reforms has reflected individual country choices and characteristics.

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