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NERC plans N5bn for tech investments

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said it will spend N5bn on technology investments between now and 2025.

The Chairman, NERC, Mr Sanusi Garba, disclosed this at a hearing on the MediumTerm Expenditure Framework in Abuja on Monday.

He said that in utility regulation, information technology was very important as it was not proper to rely on information given by licensees alone.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, he stated, “So we are investing heavily in technology so we have credible information about quality of service. Without technology, we can not know that a feeder in an area is out for 48 hours and people are in darkness.

“So over the next few years, we will be investing heavily on technology for data aggregation in 2021, the budget for computers, not just hardware but the software that drives the machine is N1.5bn. And we are spending N2.5bn in 2023 and N1bn in 2025 and we will be done; we want to see what is happening in all the feeders directly from the commission and not relying on licensees.

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“So investing N5bn on technology today is nothing.”

Garba said that the commission has engaged auditors to audit its account for the 2021 financial year and should be completed in October. He stated that the operating surplus of the commission in 2019 upon reconciliation was N3.5bn in addition to a surplus balance of N900m.

He added that the commission remitted N4.65bn. For 2020, he explained that the auditor’s report revealed the commission’s operating surplus was N3.8bn and that reconciliation was ongoing with the Office of the Account General of the Federation after which remittances would be made.

Earlier, Rep. Stanley Olajide (APC-Oyo) observed that the projection of NERC for 2023, that N2bn had been earmarked for computer equipment and over N1bn for training. He said the committee was interested in knowing what was spent in previous years on computers to justify the amount budgeted for 2023 and earn value for money.

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