The Oyo House of Assembly has passed into law the Oyo State Energy Regulatory Commission Bill, 2023.
This is in line with the recent constitutional amendment that confers on states the constitutional powers to make laws which permit each state to generate, distribute, and transmit electricity in areas, within each state’s boundaries.
This followed the presentation of the report of the House Committee on Energy on the bill as presented by member representing Afijio constitution, Honourable Oladeji Oparinde at plenary.
The bill passed allows for the establishment of an Energy Regulatory Commission to provide all energy licensing matters, including the application, grant, geographical scope, renewal, amendment, transfer, assignment, cessation, suspension, cancellation, withdrawal or refusal and other special terms relating to utilities, within the state.
Under the law, the state may collaborate with those who have been licensed by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to invest and increase the capacity of such transmission licensee’s transmission lines, transmission substations or other related infrastructure within the state.
The license holder has power for electricity generation, electricity transmission, electricity supply, electricity distribution, integrated utility, trading in electricity, embedded electricity generation, mini-grid installation, and captive power generation.
The transmission licensee licensed by the NERC shall continue to operate and manage their existing transmission lines and transmission substations in the state or relating to the state, provided that such transmission licensee shall not be involved in any other licensed activity within the state without a valid license issued by the commission.
Under the law, a trading licensee is expected to provide quality service to electricity consumers and ensure that its transactions are transparent, ensure timely and effective billing, collection and dissemination of payments, publicly make available its rates, charges and other terms and conditions.
Penalties in the law include that anyone who willfully damages any electrical installations, appliances or meters in the state or unlawfully taps off, diverts or takes electricity from them, permits to be altered any electricity connection without the consent of the commission commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N5million.
Also, the law stipulates that any person that undertakes any electrical construction or installation without obtaining a right-of-way permit from the state government commits an offence and is liable to bear the cost of removing such construction or installation in addition to a fine of not less than N5million or to imprisonment for 18 months or both such fine and imprisonment.