Successful bidders in the ongoing privatization in the power sector have expressed eagerness to take over operations from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN Distribution Companies (DISCOs) after the successful payment of 25 per cent of their investment.
However, the Federal Government through Bureau of Public Enterprises, (BPE) and the secretariat of National Council on Privatization, (NCP), stated that successful bidders for the DISCOs will commence full operations only after 75 per cent down payment for their investments have been completed.
NCP in a statement stated that core investors are only allowed to take over the companies they have purchased on completion of 100 percent payment of their bid consideration and PHCN successor companies will not be different.
The council reiterated that successor companies would be formally handed over to the bidders after full payment in a ceremony that will herald the takeover of the power sector by the private sector.
PHCN power station
NCP also plan to allow purchasers access to the companies in order to prepare for the implementation of their business plans laid out in their proposals submitted to the Bureau of Public Enterprises;
However, our correspondent reliably gathered that preferred bidders of some DISCOs are eager to proffer solutions to the erratic power supply in the country.
The winner of one of the DISCOs in Lagos told our correspondent in confidence that in the next three to four months, investors will commence complete take over.
“We have invested 25 per cent and as businessmen, we need to have a return on investment. We cannot allow our money to be tied down.
“In the next three to four months, we would have taken over, but labor issues must be settled before we can come in. Don’t forget that there is difference between hand over and taken over,” the source said.
Our correspondent also gathered that investors plan to target corporate business companies, large firms and industrial companies to recoup their investments in the next six months to one year on assumption of operations before shifting attention to residential areas.
Aside from return on investment, one of the major drives by investors to commence operations in the power sector according to findings is to put an end to d erratic power supply in the country. Electricity consumers in recent time have complained about poor power supply in the country.
It would be recalled that the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, had earlier revealed that, power generation has improved significantly to over 4,000 mega watts.
Meanwhile consumers across the country have complained about the constant darkness that their homes and industries have been plunged into since February, about the time President Goodluck Jonathan, in an interview with Christiane Amanpour, said Nigeria’s power supply had tremendously improved.
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Power, Patrick Ikhariale, also alleged that apart from Egbin Power Plc, all the power generating companies in the country were functioning at less than 40 per cent capacity. But a minor relief might have come with the TCN announcement of an increase of about 1,160 megawatts.
The Assistant General Manager of the TCN, Mr. Dave Ifabiyi, said that power generation would reach its peak in Nigeria when all the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) were fully integrated into the national grid.
He attributed the recent increase in the generation capacity to the privatization of the sector by the Federal Government, and appealed to energy consumers to continue to partner with TCN in protecting electricity installations and forestalling vandalism. He said that vandalism constituted a major setback to efforts to improve power supply.
Nigeria currently needs over 10,000 mega watts of electricity to guarantee stable electricity supply in the country.
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