The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to advance electricity awareness, especially at the grassroots.
NERC’s Chairman/CEO, Sanusi Garba and Director, NOA, Garba Abari signed the agreement at the Commission’s Headquarters, Thursday, July 21, 2022 in Abuja.
TheFact Daily reports that the electricity consumer-focused agreement was consummated to also bridge the existing trust deficit in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
In his welcome address, the NERC boss said, the partnership with NOA was strategic considering the awareness gap, and the large and heterogeneous population of the country.
He said, as the only regulator of the sector that is serving the over 200 million population, there was need for synergy, if it must achieve its mandate, adding that there was no better partner to work with in the field of national communications and orientation than the NOA.
“Our sector, the NESI requires a lot of sensitization and we are meeting with you (NOA) because we know that we cannot do this on our own.
“We have a very large country with a population of over 200 million people and 774 local governments. We are just one Commission, so if we must achieve our mandate, we have to synergise. In doing this synergy, we havevto identify the right partners to work with, and there is no better partner to work with in the field of national communications and orientation than the NOA”, Garba said.
The NERC CEO who was represented by the Commissioner, Legal, Licencing and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye said, a complex and specialised sector such as power would definitely create knowledge gap, therefore, requires sensitisation to be on the same page.
“Our sector is one that is very specialized in which most people do not know how the electrons get to them. All Nigerians are concerned about is that they have those electrons when they want it on demand.
“The essence of this partnership is to create a vehicle or platform where Nigerians are educated on issues about the sector; issues of safety, issues electricity theft and others ”.
“Co-incidentally, we are having this signing ceremony a day after the Electricity Act was signed. This is an Act that seeks to amend Electric Power Sector Reform Act and it portends great opportunities on investment in the sector and greater opportunities for consumer protection of Nigerian customers.
“We look forward to a fulfilling and rewarding partnership with the NOA, and we hope to collectively work to achieve our mandate”, he said.
In his remarks, the Director General of NOA, Garba Abari said, the issue of electricity continues to dominate the nation’s national discourse, in spite of all the efforts that government has put into addressing the gap.
This, he blamed on ignorance arising from the technicalities of the sector, pledging that efforts would be intensified, using the available communications tools to bridge the knowledge gap.
Abari who said, that part of the mandate of the NOA was to propagate, make people understand, and publicise government policies, programmes and activities, said, efforts would also be made to bridge the trust deficit in the power sector.
He affirmed that Nigerians need to be sensitised and mobilised for better understanding towards common direction of vision and mission.
Also in her remarks, NERC’s Commissioner, Consumer Affairs, Aisha Mahmud said, the event was to the formalise the relationship that long existed between the NERC and NOA.
She said, despite the huge effort, Nigerians are yet to understand the workings of NERC, therefore, there was need for collaboration for more awareness creation.
“This is the right step in the right direction for Nigerians to be aware of their own obligations”, she added.