Nigeria issues directives on independent metering

The Nigerian government is moving towards the achievement of the 10,000 megawatts in electricity supply envisaged in the Economic Recovery and Growth through the National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC's directives on independent metering and eligible customers.

Vice President Osinbajo said this while delivering the keynote address at the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit which opened in Abuja on Tuesday.

The eligible customer regime allows a willing seller, willing buyer arrangements in the sale of power. While the independent metering directive allows independent entities aside from registered power distribution companies to sell and install meters to customers and be paid directly as collections are made from metered customers, he explained.

According to Professor Osinbajo, NERC, issued directive for the eligible customer, the regime which allowed willing-seller-willing-buyer arrangement in the sale of power in August while the directive on independent metering would be issued in October.

This will break the distribution gridlock and there is good cause to believe that we will achieve the 10,000MW envisaged in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, he said.

The Vice president noted that government has been able to tackle the challenges in the power sector, which kept Nigeria's generating capacity to about 3,000 MW two years ago and has increased it to 7,000MW.

Agriculture attracts N43 billion

Professor Osinbajo said the Anchor Borrowers Programme launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 has attracted investments of up to N43.92 billion from participating institutions and created over 200,000 jobs for small scale farmers.

He also explained that the Presidential Fertiliser Initiativehas resuscitated 11 blending plants with a capacity of 2.1 million metric tons with the product being sold to farmers at N5, 500 without subsidy and far less than prevailing market prices.

The Vice President stated that the private sector has enthusiastically responded to government's diversification programme in the agriculture sector with WACOT opening its 120,000 metric tons parboiled rice plant, the biggest in Africa, in August.

Indorama opened its 1.5 million metric tons fertiliser plant, while Dangote announced its investments in 1 million metric tons of rice mills, Vice President Osinbajo said.

Among other issues that the vice president highlighted in his speech at the summit were the Social Investment Programme of government, the ease-of-doing business policy, government foreign exchange policy and President Buhari's New Vision for the Niger Delta.

Growing the Nigerian Economy

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, said government was committed to its engagement with the private sector with a view to growing the economy.

Senator Udoma said government's diversification policy has resulted in the recent figures released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBS, which shows that the country has exited recession.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Abba Kyari said that the 2017 summit was convened to articulate ways of implementing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

Participants at the summit were drawn from the private and public sectors.

The summit will end on Thursday.

Source: Voice of Nigeria