Manufacturers in Edo and Delta states on Tuesday called for review of the Eligible Customer Regulation, to enable manufacturers tackle epileptic power supply.
Dr Okwara Udensi, Chairman, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Edo/Delta chapter, made this call in an interview in Benin.
Udensi said the review of Eligible Customer Regulation has become necessary, following lingering fuel scarcity, poor electricity supply by electricity Distribution Companies and hike in diesel price.
He said that some of the conditions stipulated by the Eligible Customer regime were not feasible.
The Eligible Customer Regulation 2017 is derived from the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005, and gives the Minister of Power the authority to declare the commencement of the Eligible Customers Regime.
Prior to the declaration of the eligibility criteria, customers are only permitted to purchase electric power from licensed distribution companies; save for industrial, commercial, and residential customers.
The new policy allows customers within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, after meeting some conditions, to buy power directly from Generating Companies.
According to Udensi, power supply for business purposes has not improved over the years.
He said the cost of diesel was increasing daily, while manufacturing businesses had been folding up because of high cost of production.
“We were optimistic that the introduction of the Eligible Customer Regulation in 2017, a policy that allows the GenCos to sell power directly to consumers without passing through the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos), will bring the needed transformation in the power sector.
“However, the conditions surrounding the eligible policy does not make it simple for an end user to benefit from the policy.
“For instance, one of the conditions to be an eligible customer requires that the DisCo must first sign out an electricity consumer before that consumer can be signed in by a GenCo.
“How can Discos sign out people that are giving them income?
”This has been a big issue between the Benin Distribution Company and the Ossimo Power Company in Edo,” he said.
Udensi said an independent power in Asaba had been providing power to the state government secretariat.
He said that the bottlenecks in the Eligible Customer Regulation was hampering plans to expand its services.
The MAN chairman said that the regulations on independent power generation vis-a-vis supply to a third party, had been a dragging issue.
According to him, this is because the Discos feels that the Gencos will take over their customer base.