(By Comrade Nelson Omenugha)
“As independent electricity regulating umpire and chief executive of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), he has deployed his wealth of experience, expertise and international contacts to the attainment of safe, secured, reliable, adequate and affordable electricity in Nigeria. He has redefined leadership and administration with his ability in striking mature balance between Electricity investors and customers on one hand and then Government and other Electricity Stakeholders on the other hand.“
IT is in nature of things that change is the only thing that is constant. While positive and negative changes abound, it takes uncommon courage, focus and sound mind to effect the desired positive changes or better still put; transformation. It even takes more of these to bring transformation where the sector in question is the foundation on which other sectors of the economy lie; and that on which the public demand miracle and magic to be done. This is usually the case, when the person saddled with such responsibility is a known social crusader and a policy reformer.
A gentleman and humble scholar of conviction, Dr Sam Amadi, has proven to be equal to the task as he has through the formulation and implementation of Electricity investors’ and customers’ friendly policies, independently regulated and transforming Power sector.
As independent electricity regulating umpire and chief executive of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), he has deployed his wealth of experience, expertise and international contacts to the attainment of safe, secured, reliable, adequate and affordable electricity in Nigeria. He has redefined leadership and administration with his ability in striking mature balance between Electricity investors and customers on one hand and then Government and other Electricity Stakeholders on the other hand.
The commission, headed by Sam Amadi, was inaugurated on December 22, 2010, by President Goodluck Jonathan to deliver on power sector reform roadmap. The commissioners were drawn from the six geo-political zones of the country. An unassuming Amadi has been able to effect positive changes in carriage, mannerism, administration, public relations and overall implementation of policies in Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission and power industry.
Armed with the core values of leadership, professionalism, teamwork and good governance, NERC under the eagle eyes of Amadi has been able to initiate and accomplish the following but not limited to:
• Removal of huddles that previously discouraged investors from investing their resources in the sector. The electricity market is now competitive and attractive with several local and foreign operators seeking to invest. He has played on the selections of these operators strictly on and by market rules.
• Through his “Electricity consumers are king” administrative philosophy, NERC has been able to consistently and adequately hold consumers’ forum geared at knowing and addressing issues that electricity consumers express.
• NERC has worked and is still working with relevant institutions, including Ministry of Power and Power Holding of Nigeria (PHCN), to ensure adequate new meters are supplied to consumers without difficulty. This has check-mated the crazy bill syndromes prevalent in electricity industry. CAPMI has also given room for pre-paid meters to be available on demand in every nook and cranny of the nation.
• NERC under Harvard-trained Amadi has shown uncommon courage and transparency by declaring as illegal for new electricity customer to pay connection fees and has provided feedback mechanism for defaulters’ case report to the commission.
• NERC under Amadi, in total demonstration and operation of transparency, was the leading institution that complied with the Freedom of Information Act. NERC is ever ready and has demonstrated operation of open door policy by making her information and proceedings available to Press and civil societies for scrutiny. This is an uncommon action.
• NERC has ensured that electricity consumers pay fixed charges once a month irrespective of number of times prepaid meter is recharged. This is unlike in the past where electricity consumers were extorted and intimidated to pay twice and even thrice the electricity charges per month; and which in most cases, the amount varies.
One can really go on and on with litany of uncommon sanity brought in the Power system by NERC under Amadi.
Indeed and in sincerity, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission under Amadi has brought salvation to electricity stakeholder – consumers, investors, government, affiliated institutions etc.
December 22, 2013, will mark three years of administration of NERC by the present Commissioners led by Amadi. It is a period for review on how far NERC has gone with the implementation of her mandate with the view of coming up with further strategy to deliver. It is a period for enumeration of challenges and stock-taking which will serve as a benchmark for future deliberation on Power reform roadmap. Indeed, it will be a period for sober reflection on how far we, as a Nation, have gone in the realization of our aspiration for safe, adequate, reliable and affordable electricity.
This is not the time to condemn anyone or the government for any perceived shortcomings in power sector in the past. It is time to come up with detailed ideas, ways and strategies on how to ensure electricity on demand for all.
• Omenugha is a former president, Students’ Union Government, UNIZIK and a youth corps member in the office of the chairman, NERC, Abuja.
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