The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC has concluded plans to inaugurate an 11 Nigerian Content Consultative Forum for the electricity supply industry.
The regulation envisages that Nigerian companies are given first considerations for the supply of goods, works and services in the power sector.
This regulation flows from the Federal Government policy on Local Content first enunciated in the National Electric Power Policy (NEPP) of 2001 which mandates the regulator to ensure local content in the electricity market in Nigeria.
Commenting on the significance of the Thursday inauguration of the Consultative Forum, NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, explained that the regulation
â€œshould not be misconstrued as nationalisation but an attempt at deepening Nigerians participation in the emerging electricity industry as well as stem capacity flight in the economy.â€
The Forum which will operate in advisory capacity will have membership from the industry operators and other stakeholders with background in fabrication, engineering, finance services, legal and insurance, information and communication technology, education and training and any other professional services as may be considered by the Commission.
The National Content Regulation which was enacted by the Commission in December 2014 mandates the Forum to establish a national data bank for national skills development pool and ranking of service companies on capabilities and Nigerian content.
Part 6 (b) of the Regulation stipulates, â€œForum shall carry out a survey periodically to determine the local content participation in the power sector.â€
â€œBased on the survey and other considerations, the Forum shall advise the Commission on the benchmark to set as threshold for local content in the power sector and the Commission acting on this advice shall issue directives to licensees from time to time on the threshold for local content.â€
The body acting in advisory capacity will assist the Commission on matters relating to availability of local content and other policy proposals that may be relevant to local content development in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
It will base its recommendations on such policies that the Federal Government may from time to time issue.
A provision in the part 2 of the Regulation expects licensees of the Commission to develop local content as key components of their general operations and executions of their projects.
Acting in consultation with the advisory board to be inaugurated on Thursday the Commission will now establish a Joint Qualification System (JQS) that will produce the electricity industry data bank for the Nigerian content registration and pre-qualification of contractors in NESI.
The databank will be a source for the verification of contractorsâ€™ capacity and capabilities; a source of information in the review of applications of Nigerian content; national skills development pool and ranking of all service companiesâ€™ capabilities and their Nigerian content.