The Federal Ministry of Power convened a pivotal 3-day ministerial retreat from December 12th to 14th, centered around the theme of the Integrated National Electricity Policy and Strategic Implementation Plan (INEP-SIP): Navigating and Aligning on the Path to Enhanced Electricity Reliability.
This retreat marks a crucial inaugural step towards the establishment of the INEP-SIP, mandated by the forward-thinking Electricity Act of 2023. Recognizing the inadequacies of the outdated National Electric Power Policy of 2001, the Ministry, in accordance with Section 3(1) of the Electricity Act, 2023, proactively initiated the preparation of the INEP-SIP within a year of the Act.
During his address, the Minister underscored key areas of focus and themes that will shape the trajectory of the nation’s electricity sector:
- Electricity Market Design: Emphasizing collaboration among States, Local Government Authorities, and existing Distribution Companies (Discos), the Ministry seeks to strengthen local distribution infrastructure. This strategic move aims to promote healthy competition and recognize the equitable vested interests of States.
- Challenges to Nigeria’s Electricity Reliability: Addressing inefficiencies in electricity supply, the Ministry aims to rebalance the ratio between backup electricity generation and on-grid supply. Focus areas include tackling issues of poor contracting, enhancing contract management, and ensuring strict adherence to contractual obligations.
- Risk-Mitigated Domestic Gas-to-Power Market: Urgency surrounds the consideration to price gas in Naira to mitigate foreign currency-related inflationary trends. The Ministry seeks to encourage domestic gas policies and stimulate investments in gas processing and transportation infrastructure.
- Transmission Sub-Sector Restructuring: Proposing the restructuring of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) into the Independent System Operator (ISO) and the Transmission Service Provider (TSP), the Ministry aligns with the evolving State Electricity Markets. Explorations into the possibility of a national or super-grid are underway.
- Energy Transition: Advocating for utility-scale solar power plants by 2030 and a diversified energy mix, the Ministry aims to stabilize the national grid. Plans are in motion to deploy super-grids or regional-grids, signaling a shift towards a sustainable energy future.
- Human Resource Development: A call for a deliberate and inclusive model of human capacity development resonates throughout the electricity value chain. The Ministry is committed to promoting social inclusion and diversity.
- Finance, Revenue Assurance, and Capital Investment: Acknowledging the importance of securing long-term financing, the Ministry calls for collaborative solutions. Exploration of innovative policies and fiscal incentives is underway to attract domestic institutional investors and partners.
In his speech, the Minister called upon stakeholders to contribute candid and solution-driven policy proposals. He urged forthrightness and passion while emphasizing the need to remain objective in finding necessary solutions. The three-day retreat aspires to establish a credible policy framework, heralding a new era of reliable electricity in Nigeria.