Despite several years of independence, Nigeria finds itself grappling with the longstanding challenge of establishing a standard electricity supply system. In a groundbreaking initiative, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the British High Commission recently spearheaded a pivotal Roundtable discussion centered around the implementation of the Electricity Act 2023. Titled ‘The Electricity Act 2023: Implications and Opportunities for State Electricity Markets,’ the event convened key stakeholders, including representatives from the NGF, the Ministry of Power, state governments, and senior officials from Federal Ministries, Departments, and Parastatals, facilitated by the United Kingdom Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (UKNIAF).
Leadership reported that the discussions highlighted the diverse challenges faced by states in harnessing the potential of the Electricity Act. Acknowledging this disparity, there was a unanimous call for a customized, state-specific approach to maximize the Act’s benefits. A crucial consensus emerged: states must identify and prioritize collaborative regional initiatives to ensure synchronized implementation.
One of the pivotal outcomes was the urgent need for increased support from the donor community and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) tailored to each state’s unique context. The emphasis was placed on building expertise within the energy sector to guide the Act’s implementation effectively.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Kwara State Governor, Abdulraham Abdulraque, stressed the collaborative efforts’ core objectives: “Through these collaborations, we seek to achieve capacity building, policy guidance, knowledge sharing, and infrastructural/project development by supporting State governments in identifying and developing bankable projects in the electricity sector, ensuring the highest standards of technical, social, and environmental sustainability.”
Addressing the gathering, British Deputy High Commissioner, Gill Atkinson, underscored the significance of the Act’s provisions allowing State Governments to generate, transmit, and distribute electricity. She highlighted this as a transformative moment, presenting an opportunity to enhance electricity production and accessibility, thereby illuminating the path toward energy independence for Nigerian states.
With states gearing up to develop transition roadmaps based on contextual analyses, this collaborative endeavor signifies a decisive stride toward a more robust and sustainable energy future, ensuring electricity reaches even the most remote corners of the nation.