FEDERAL MINISTRY OF POWER INTERVIEW: “The Eligible Customer and the Meter Asset Provider are policy initiatives of the Federal Government of Nigeria aimed at improving service quality in the Power Sector”

1.     Some background on Ms. Emontonghan Osaisai and the Power Sector of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
Emontonghan Osaisai was born in Peretorugbene, Bayelsa State. She attended both Primary and Secondary Schools in Kaduna and Lagos, Nigeria. Having completed her B.A. Honours degree in Geography at the University of Lagos, she proceeded to obtain a Masters Degree in Business Administration at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology. Emontonghan is an administrator with the Federal Civil Service and is presently the Director, Investment and Sector Development, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Power Sector).

The Power Sector of the Ministry is the policy making arm of the Federal Government with the responsibility for the provision of power in the country. The Ministry in discharging this mandate is guided by the provisions of the National Electric Power Policy (NEPP) of 2001, the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act of 2005, and the Roadmap for Power Sector Reform of August 2010. Its mission is to provide the Nation with adequate and reliable power supply by implementing generation, transmission and distribution projects in the sector and facilitating the emergence of a private sector led competitive and efficient electric power industry. Agencies under the Power Sector of the Ministry are Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, Rural Electrification Agency, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading and National Power Training Institute of Nigeria.

2.      Any energy projects that you are involved in the region currently that you are particularly excited about at the moment?

i.    The Distribution Expansion Project which is aimed at expanding the 33KV networks in all the Distribution Companies to enable all of the 7000MW of electricity that can now be generated and transmitted (2000MW of which is now unutilized) is delivered to paying customers.
ii.   The Solar Power Project structured to concession roof tops of Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to private solar developers to generate solar electricity through Public Private Partnership.

3.   Any specific success stories you can share?

The Power House Solar Project (pilot scheme of item (b) to supply 750kW day time and 75kW night time electrical energy to the Ministry of Power (Power House) under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement for a period of 10 years has gotten Federal Executive Council approval. This will be replicated on roof tops of MDAs.

4.      What in your view are the challenges to the energy sector in Nigeria and the region?
i.    Lack of adequate infrastructure in the downstream of the Power value chain;
ii.   Lack of adequate gas distribution infrastructure; and
iii.  Lack of robust energy mix to cover the entire country especially the underserved communities.

5.      How optimistic are you about business opportunities in Nigeria’s energy future?
There is high hope for business opportunities in the Nigerian Power Sector in view of investors indicating interest in investing in the Nigerian Power Sector in the areas of gas, coal to power, transmission and distribution network and renewable energy (Hydro, solar, wind) through several investment promotions carried out in both local and foreign trade and investment fairs.

6.      What is your vision for the energy sector in the region?
i.    To generate, distribute and transmit electricity to all nooks and crannies of Nigeria;
ii.   To attract the right investment to close the gap in the Energy Sector; and
iii.  To activate the right incentives in making the investors comfortable with a robust return on investment.

7.      At the upcoming Future Energy Nigeria conference, in the Generation Knowledge Hub Programme, you are presenting a case study “Increasing investment and improving service quality in the power sector: Exploring the contractual framework and criteria on the Eligible Customer and Meter Asset Provider Regulation” – can you give us a preview of what your message will be at the event?
The Eligible Customer and the Meter Asset Provider are Policy initiatives of the Federal Government of Nigeria aimed at improving service quality in the Power Sector. In order to successfully implement these policies, there is the need to put in place a robust awareness campaign and enforcement strategies which will attract prospective investors. The presentation seeks to give highlights on these policies with a view to addressing possible challenges.

8.     What are you most looking forward to at Future Energy Nigeria?
i.    Creating awareness about the Eligible Customer and Meter Asset Provider policies with a view to obtaining the buy in of the public; and
ii.   Attracting prospective investors.