Public Institutions in Nigeria’s Off-grid Energy Sector

Nigeria faces significant challenges in energy access, and an attempt to resolve this has led to a rise in the deployment of renewable energy projects, particularly decentralised energy solutions. As an organization coming into the off-grid energy sector, below is a list of some government bodies that private organizations will need to encounter:

Rural Electrification Agency (REA)

The Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is the Implementing Agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria tasked with the electrification of rural and unserved communities. The Agency promote and coordinates Rural Electrification Programs in the country and administers the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) to promote, support and provide rural electrification through Public and Private Sector Participation. Some of the programs include the Nigeria Electrification Project, Performance Based Grant, Minimum Subsidy Tender, Solar Naija Programme amongst others. 

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)

NERC was established by the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 to undertake technical and economic regulation of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. The regulatory body’s responsibility is to regulate standards of performance for all electricity licensees, monitor performance to ensure that those standards are met and maintained or even exceeded, establish customer rights and obligations and set cost-reflective industry tariffs. One of the regulations relevant to the off-grid industry is the NERC Regulations for Mini-Grids. Mini-Grid developers are also required to apply for a registration or permit in order to operate the mini-grids. 

Federal Ministry of Environment (FMoE) 

With the increased deployment of renewable energy projects in the country, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Environment creates, implements and monitors projects to ensure the protection of the environment. The Ministry sets and enforces mitigation, monitoring and institutional frameworks to be taken during the implementation and operation of such projects to alleviate and ameliorate the adverse environmental and social impacts and conditions accruing from the off-grid project activities. 

Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA)

NEMSA is an agency established to enforce technical standards and regulations through inspection, testing and certifications of electrical installations. In collaboration with the Nigeria Energy Support Programme, the Guidelines for the Inspection of Solar Mini-Grids were developed. It outlines the application, inspection and certification procedures of solar mini-grids in Nigeria to achieve standardization and safety. In addition, organizations are to acquire corporate certification to undertake electrical installation contracting works in Nigeria. 

Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) 

SON oversees the development of standards for importing goods into Nigeria to monitor and enforce quality standards. This includes technology used in off-grid energy equipment like energy meters, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, inverters, batteries and charge controllers. The standards are enforced using the SON Conformity Assessment Programme.

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