ECOWAS Electricity Regulatory Authority to adopt new regulations

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) is to adopt new regulations towards the effective take-off of the regional electricity market.

Dubbed “ECOWAS Rules on Sanctions” and the “ERERA’s Enforcement Rules for the Regional Electricity Market,” the regulations are to help ensure the implementation, monitoring and control of obligations agreed upon for the running of the market.

A three-day regional workshop during which ERERA’s joint Consultative Committees of Regulators and Operators would review and endorse drafts of the two regulations was underway in Accra.

The committees would forward the endorsed regulations to the ERERA Regulatory Council for approval, following which they would form part of a body of instruments critical to governing the regional market.

The workshop was opened yesterday with the Legal and Licensing Working Group (LLWG), an ad hoc technical advisory organ for ERERA, made up of legal experts from ECOWAS Member States, finalising work on the draft regulations.

Attending the workshops are representatives of the Ministries of Energy/Power, electricity regulatory bodies and power operators of ECOWAS Member States, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), AfDB and the German international aid agency, GIZ.

Interacting with the media, Dr Haliru Dikko, a member of the ERARA Regulatory Council, said the rules and regulations would ensure sanity in the market and ensure power suppliers and their clients transact business in an orderly manner.

He said the sanctions, when endorsed and approved would include fines and non-monetary punishments, stating that the ERERA was more interested in compliance of the regulations than the sanctions but will crack the whip if need be.

He  said  practices that were likely to  attract sanctions when the regulations are operationalised  include failure to honour contract obligations, adding that a surveillance  team will be  set up  to ensure that the rules are not flouted.

The desire of ECOWAS to have electricity interconnections through the joint implementation and sharing of energy resources of the region manifested in the adoption of an Energy Protocol to put in place the legal and institutional environment for the development of the sector.

Within the framework of the Energy Protocol and the West African Power Pool (WAPP) Programme, the Member States of ECOWAS, in January 2008 established ERERA as the regional regulator for cross-border electricity interconnections.


By Jonathan Donkor 


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