Energy Resources Governance for National Development: Options for Socially Sustainable Electricity Generation, Transmission and Distribution in Nigeria
The provision of low-cost, affordable and regular electricity is crucial to industrial development, employment generation and poverty alleviation in Nigeria. To this extent, the power sector of Nigeria has recently witnessed major policy re-directions, which are intended to reposition it for better efficiency through private players and by streamlining the regulatory and supervisory roles of government and its agencies.The Nigerian government believes very strongly that the new initiative will help to create a paradigm shift in a sector replete with regulatory overlaps, under-productivity and administrative laxities. While commending reform initiatives in the power sector of Nigeria, a careful look at the reformed electricity sector leaves one with an impression that the new policy is yet to sufficiently reflect the trends of sustainable electricity governance in other countries where similar reforms had taken place. This article reviews primary and secondary legal instruments, the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 (EPSR) and the Regulations (Electricity Regulations made pursuant to the ESPR Act). It throws-up the inadequacies of the current (reformed) electricity regime to the extent that some of its provisions violate certain sections of the Nigerian Constitution, and are inherently contradictory.