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28
February
2022

Governors reject Senate Electricity Bill, say robs states of constitutionally defined roles

The 36 Governors of the federation under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), has objected to the Senate Electricity Bill as prepared by the National Assembly, which is due for discussion this week.

The Chairman of the forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, who said the governors have made their position known in a written document to the Chairman Senate Committee on Power expressing their vehement objection to the Bill.

According to the statement, the bill of passed will disrobed states of their constitutionally defined roles, saying “as the Bill is injurious to the states with regards to generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in their domains.”

The Governors wonder why the Chairman Senate Committee on Power, Senator Gabriel Suswam had in an article argued that “The Electricity Bill 2022 is based on recommendations put together by a team of Consultants engaged by the Senate Committee on Power. Invariably, the Electricity Bill by the Senate Committee on Power is not a “true and fair” reflection of stakeholders in the Nigerian electricity sector, most particularly the State governments.

“It is also not a “true and fair” reflection of the Federal executive arm”, they objected.

They governors said: “Contrary to the views of the Chairman, Clause 2(2) of the Bill is rather injurious to the constitutional rights of States with regards to electricity generation, transmission, and distribution. Limiting the powers of State governments to build generation plants, transmission and distribution lines only in areas not covered by the national grid, shrinks the powers of States to make laws for electricity within their state jurisdictions.

“The NGF submission details other aspects of the Electricity Bill that not only violates the constitutional rights of States, but unconstitutionally donates powers to the National Assembly and the Federal Government with respect to the supervision and regulation of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution within States.

“NGF advises that it is important to engage the Federal House of Representatives on the respective bills for the electricity sector, particularly the EPSRA amendment bill 2020 and other bills, which also infringe on the constitutional rights of states to make laws for electricity, with a view to harmonizing it into a single draft electricity bill.”

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