The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) begins operations today from its new corporate head office located at the Central Business District in Abuja which gulped an estimated N7.911 billion in the last six years.
The commission, established in 2005 by the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA), has been occupying rented head office at Adamawa Plaza in the Central Business Area for about 13 years.
Daily Trust reports that the head office building project was initiated by the former chairman, Dr Sam Amadi, and his team after efforts to move into the PHCN building at Maitama following the privatisation of PHCN utility firms in 2013 failed.
Pandrock Associates Nigeria Limited, a construction and project management service provider on its website said it was contracted to handle the spacing planning, furniture and partition layout and relocating strategy of NERC staff at N1bn in 2014.
Between 2013 and 2018, the eight-floor headquarters building with basement car-park will be gulping over N7.911bn funding spent on the purchase, completion of the project, partitioning the floors and walls, furnishing the offices and procuring generator plants for the complex.
A breakdown of the expenditures for the building shows that NERC got approval for N4.165bn to pay for the headquarters building and N127.6 million to buy the Lagos Annex in the 2013 Appropriation Act.
In the 2014 budget, the commission further got N1.579bn for the purchase of the headquarters office building. It then got N17.4m as part of the payment for the building in the 2015 appropriation.
The commission was not funded from the annual appropriation in 2016. This is partly because it derives funding from the Nigerian Electricity Market (NEM). NERC gets about 3 to 4 per cent monthly payment for ancillary services from the bulk energy invoices paid by customers for electricity consumed to the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos).
The DisCos then pay the energy charges from the Generation Companies (GenCos) to the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), and the ancillary service charges to the Market Operator (MO) of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). These payments include MO, NERC, System Operator (SO) charges.
NERC also gets licence fee as revenue from all its licencees that include all GenCos, DisCos, NBET, TCN, Meter Service Providers (MSP) and the new entrant, Meter Assets Providers (MAP), among other participants.
In the 2017 Appropriation Act, the sum of N600m was appropriated for the completion of the head office building. NERC also got approval for another N500m for fencing and partitioning of floor and wall; another N200m was devoted to office furniture and accessories at the building.
It also pegged N125m for procuring Information Technology hardware, N125m to buy computers and laptops and N50m to buy generators.
In the 2018 budget proposal, the commission has pegged another N200m to complete the building project. It pegged another N750m for partitioning the floor and wall. NERC will also supply and install office furniture and accessories at the building for another N400m.
This is even so as it commences official business from its own headquarters in Abuja today, nearly 13 years after the regulatory agency was created.