In what appears to be a disregard to a court order, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has finally granted generating license to a private company for the distribution of power in Ariara Market.
This is said to be in defiance to an order issued by a High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State.
Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, had apart from a Notice of Objection dated 15th March 2018, sent to NERC, also instituted legal proceedings at the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Umuahia Judicial Division seeking declaratory and injunctive reliefs as well as damages.
Consequently, the court presided over by D.E. Osiagor granted an order of interim injunction restraining the AMESL from constructing or continuing the construction of an Independent Electricity Distribution Network within EEDC’s electricity distribution licensed area.
But DAILY POST reports that the NERC, though a party in the suit, has announced that in pursuit of overriding public interest it “has granted a 9.5megawatts embedded electricity generation licence to Ariaria Market Independent Power Plant Limited and an Independent Electricity Distribution Licence to distribute same within Ariaria Market to Ariaria Independent Energy Distribution Network Limited.”
It added that “the licences, issued in line with Section 71(6) of the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005 were granted after careful consideration of the applications in public interest to promote access to common goods and to promote commercialisation and industrialisation for which Ariaria, a leading commercial hub in the country is reputed for.”
“Both licences granted to Araiaria were affirmation of the Commission’s commitment and response to the long-time yearnings of the market for a stable, reliable and sustainable electricity supply to improve quality of goods and services by Nigerian enterprises and entrepreneurs,” Mrs. Vivian Mbonu, Head, Media Unit, NERC said in a statement.
When contacted, the EEDC, through its head of communications, Mr. Emeka Ezeh said the matter was already in court and that it would be subjudice to comment on it.
Hope for Nigeria has earlier reported that the EEDC and the Ariara Market Energy Solution Limited (AMESL), a company spearheading the Ariaria Independent Energy Distribution Network, IEDN are at loggerheads over power distribution in the area.