The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has issued 13 new licences for various aspects of the power sector, including off-grid and embedded power generation, independent electricity distribution, and electricity trading.
These licences, granted in the third quarter of 2023, are expected to contribute 40.9 megawatts to the national electricity generation.
In its third-quarter 2023 report, NERC disclosed that five new off-grid generation licences with a capacity of 8.81MW and one embedded generation licence for 5MW were issued during the review period. Additionally, licences were granted for independent electricity distribution network (IEDN), electricity trading, and more off-grid and embedded generation projects.
The commission clarified that it issues licences for various electricity-related activities, including generation, transmission, distribution, trading, and system operations in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry. For activities not requiring licences but needing authorization from the commission, such as off-grid captive power generation, the commission issues permits after reviewing relevant applications.
Nigeria, with a population exceeding 200 million, faces challenges in electricity supply, generating between 3,500MW and 5,000MW. Rural areas often experience blackouts due to insufficient power generation. The recent licences aim to contribute to increasing electricity output, reducing the number of people without access to electricity.
Among the companies receiving licences, Daybreak Power Solutions Limited secured eight licences for off-grid power generation projects in various locations, Ekiti Independent Power Project received a licence for a 5MW gas-fired embedded power project in Ekiti State, and Olokiti Power Distribution Limited obtained an IEDN licence for operations in Ekiti State. Ember Power Limited, Island Power Limited, and Energy Company of Nigeria Limited also received licences for electricity trading and embedded power projects.
Despite significant investments in the power sector, power consumer groups have criticized the inadequate electricity supply and urged the government and operators to intensify efforts to meet the electricity needs of Nigerians.