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NERC Moves Against ANED Over DisCos, Fashola Face-off



The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has said it has charged the chief executive officers of Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) to discontinue their relationship with the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) describing the association as a non-legal entity.

This was contained in a communique issued by the Commission yesterday which was the outcome of a meeting with Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), held on Tuesday, August 27, 2018 at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Communique made available to LEADERSHIP read in part, “Inter – relationships between Electricity Distribution Companies were encouraged but activities of Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors were discouraged.”

Describing ANED as a nonexistent in the relationship between DisCos, NERC and even the Ministry of Power, the communique stated that, “A strict adherence to contract agreement signed by the Commission’s Licensees (Discos) was re-echoed as the only binding legal entity that should form the continued relationship between the Commission and Electricity Distribution Companies.”

The meeting said to have been supervised by chairman of NERC, Professor James Momoh further ordered that, “Henceforth the Legal Counsel of the Electricity Distribution Companies representing ANED should never in whatsoever way interfere with the policy directives or regulatory pronouncements made either by the Honorable Minister of Power or the Commission. That no unwarranted remark should be made by ANED representatives against the person of the Honorable Minister, NERC Chairman or against any of the NERC Commissioner going forward.”

Sources said the move may not be unconnected with the series of media war between the Minister of Power, Works and Housing and ANED in recent times over contentious issues regarding the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

The Minister had on July 5, 2018 while addressing a press conference in Abuja accused the DisCos of not doing enough to improve its services to the consumer. Speaking on the way out the Minister said, “Whenever there is poor service, Government, as a matter of Policy and Public Interest is able and entitled to act and invite new players to fill the gap. It is not my intention, or that of the government to take over the business of DISCOs. On the contrary, it is Government’s desire to see DISCOs thrive and flourish in a competitive environment.

The war of words has continued until recently. However, this latest developments is perceived to be a move by NERC to convince the Minister of its preparedness to oversee the running of the industry as a regulator.

Meanwhile, the NERC meeting with the DisCos CEOs was said to have among other things agreed to develop a framework to hold Discos accountable for their remittances to the Market operator in order to discourage the practice of discretionary remittances.

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