Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Tuesday announced the approval of a licence to operate an independent power plant in Ariaria market, Abia state.
Ariaria Market, known as ‘China of Africa’, is a major market, not only in South-eastern part of Nigeria, but also in West African sub-region.
An open-air market, without solid structures, it is reputed to be a home for wears, leather works, among others.
In a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, the electricity sector regulator said the licence was to enable Ariaria Market Independent Power Plant Limited generate 9.5 megawatts (MWs) embedded electricity for the market.
Similarly, an Independent Electricity Distribution Licence was also issued to Ariaria Independent Energy Distribution Network Limited to handle distribution of generated power within the market.
The NERC statement signed by its spokesperson, Mrs Vivian Mbonu, said the licenses were granted pursuant to ”overriding public interest”.
Mbonu said the licences were granted in line with Section 71(6) of Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005 “after careful consideration of the applications in public interest”.
She said the operation of the embedded power system within the market area would promote access to common goods, as well as encourage commercialisation and industrialisation in the area.
“Both licences granted to Araiaria market 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,” Mbonu added.