Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission in pursuit of overriding public interest has granted a 9.5MW embedded electricity generation license to Ariaria Market IPP Ltd and an Independent Electricity Distribution Licence to distribute same within Ariaria Market to Ariaria Independent Energy Distribution NetworkLTD.

The licenses, issued in line with Section 71(6) of EPSR Act 2005 were granted after careful consideration of the applications in overriding public interest to promote access to common goods and to promote commercialization and industrialization of Ariaria.

Both licenses granted to Ariaria 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.

This clarification from NERC is coming on the heels of the court injunction Enugu Electricity Distribution Company got against the Ariaria Market Energy Solution Limited (AMESL) project which is to generate and distribute off-grid power to the 32,000 shops in Ariaria in three phases, starting with the first 12,000 shops.

Enugu Electricity Distribution Company has argued that and affirmed that their franchise right covers the Aba area, Owerri-Nta, Osisi Oma, Ogbor Hill, Factory Road, and Port Harcourt Road in Aba, Abia State, with its assets, under which the Ariaria Market Power Project falls.

It should be noted that in 2015, the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) had earlier ordered Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, to hand over the disputed Ring Fenced Islands at Aba and Ariaria, in Abia State, to AFRIGEM Integrated Utilities Limited. This was in the dispute between Aba Power/GeoMetric and AFRIGEM, and EEDC.

The Ariaria Market Off Grid Power Project, being championed by the Rural Electrification Agency, however stalled when Enugu Electricity Distribution Company got the injunction from a Umuahia Federal High Court to stop the project.