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FG to conclude PHCN privatisation next year – Barth Nnaji

By on September 7, 2011

The Federal Government would next year conclude the final phase of privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, the minister of power said on Tuesday.

Prof. Barth Nnaji , who disclosed this in Abuja during the special ministerial media briefing to mark President Goodluck Jonathan’s 100 days in office, said the conclusion of the process will enable the successor companies take charge in ensuring stable and reliable supply of electricity across the country.

He said that the Federal Government had also empowered the chief executive officers of the successor companies to take certain decisions to develop the sector instead of travelling to Abuja to get clearance.

“Privatisation of the sector is expected to be concluded next year. Privatisation is critical. Without it and transfer of power to the private hands, it will be difficult for us to transform power in the country.

“The process was started by the previous administration and it is being accelerated by this administration and we are carrying workers along. The outcome of the process is that there will be significant improvement in power and significant reduction in government’s investment in the sector,” he said.

According to him, there had been requests for proposals and information memoranda to prospective investors interested in acquiring the successor companies created from the unbundling of the PHCN.
Nnaji went on to explain that there would no longer be need  to depend on promises made in the past, adding that the Federal Government was putting in place practical promises that could be delivered by solving the problems on ground. He said what happened in the past was not so much about funding as the sector was critically underfunded during the military administrations.

The minister said: “The civilian regime has been trying to improve the sector. Over the years, the economy has been growing and the population too has been growing. We are working on short term improvement to ensure the stabilisation of power. Let us do what will make power available, reliable and stable.

“Part of the short term plan is to ensure improvement at the power plants. Across the nation, we have been getting results, in some places there have been three days of uninterrupted power supply.