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Edo Assembly repeals 1972 Rural Electricity Board Law, passes bill to liberalise electricity market

…new regime to allow for expansion of willing-buyer, willing-seller operators 

… electricity customers set for new deal on power supply

The Edo State House of Assembly has passed a bill to repeal the Rural Electricity Board Law of 1972 to re-enact a law that makes provision for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity for the residents of Edo State, paving the way for the establishment of an electricity market in the state.

The Assembly unanimously adopted all six parts of the bill during a session of the committee of the whole on Tuesday, July 19, 2022.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Marcus Onobun, directed the Assembly Clerk to forward clean copies of the bill for assent to Governor Godwin Obaseki.

The passed bill provides for the liberalization of the electricity market in the state, allowing for a more pragmatic approach to rural electrification and expansion of distribution infrastructure in the state.

The passing of the bill spells better days for electricity consumers in the state, who will now benefit from proper regulation of the electricity sector in the state, which would allow operators a more predictable business environment.

In the new regime, electricity providers in the state with Generation License, Independent Electricity Distribution Network License and Eligible Customer (willing buyer-willing seller) approval from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) would reap the full benefit of a liberalized electricity market.

A financial analyst and lecturer at the University of Benin, Mr. Nosakhare Ikponmwosa, said the new regime to be ushered in by the new bill will create room for expansion of the off-grid operations of operators such as Ossiomo Power Company which enjoys a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the government.

“A lot is going to change. We will have a lot more certainty in the market as there is a state-level regulation for power operations. With this, the likes of Ossiomo Power Company which is already powering public utilities and industrial clusters would be assured of better regulation and would have the confidence to expand. We expect to see more players in the industry.”

He noted that electricity consumers are in for better days as the new bill allows for expansion of the distribution network which addresses issues of access to a steady power supply in the state.