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Stakeholders seek establishment of Plateau Electricity Regulatory Agency

Energy consumers and other stakeholders in Plateau State’s energy subsector have asked for the establishment of a Plateau State Electricity Regulatory Agency to control subsector activities and ensure value addition to citizens and the economy.

They requested this at the Government House in Jos during a Policy Dialogue on the new Electricity Act and Energy Solutions for Businesses through Private Sector Investment.

Participants at the event, which was organised by the State Government through the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy in collaboration with the Corporation for International Cooperation, GIZ, discussed problems and gave resolutions to guide the government in making policies to ensure improvements in the subsector.

Akinropo Omoware, GIZ’s Head of Components, Policy, and Strategy, presented the opportunities embedded in the new Electricity Act and why the State should stop them in order to consolidate the ease of doing business and support private investments that deliver value to citizens.

He emphasised that the state is free to generate and manage its energy sector in a way that creates jobs and growth, and that doing so will ensure a sustainable and inexpensive power supply in the state.

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

Mr. Samuel Jatau, Secretary to the State Government and Chairman of the Ease of Doing Business Council, stated in his address that the administration of Governor Caleb Mutfwang recognises the importance of energy as a major driver of development, as evidenced by the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Shimankar Valley Limited to provide 300 megawatts of 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 expressed concerns about the Makeri and Pankshin sub-power stations, which have not been fully activated to serve the State in recent years, and lamented that most businesses rely on power to thrive, but not all of them can afford to power generators to supply them with the necessary energy, resulting in business owners closing their doors due to the high cost of doing business in the State.

The event brought together energy sector actors such as Jos power Distribution Company, NESCO, Shimankar Valley Limited, and power users, particularly those operating MSMEs in the state.

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