Lawmakers Express Concern Over PHCN Privatisation Process as President Johnathan hands over Utilities

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will on Monday handover certificates and licenses to purchasers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies.
Deputy Director in charge of press at the Federal Ministry of Power, Mr. Timothy Adedeji confirmed the development in Abuja Friday.
Meanwhile, some members of the National Assembly have expressed worry over the way the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies’ privatisation handled it without alleged recourse to the National Assembly.
Chairman, House of Representatives committee on power, Patrick Ikhariale alleged yesterday that the National Assembly was kept in the dark in the whole process.
He expressed reservations over the wholesome sale of the three sectors of the PHCN – the generation, distribution and transmission, saying the National Assembly would have preferred the process spread out over years in phases.
Ikharieale who led members of the committee on oversight function to the Bureau of Public Enterprises, (BPE), Niger Delta Public Holding, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, and National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, (NAPTIN), however, cautioned that beyond the privatisation of the PHCN, there should be due diligence on the privatisation and the operations of the companies that eventually bought into the sector to ensure improvement in power supply.
He said: “We believed and we have supported the privatisation exercise. There is nothing that could be done now but some of us have reservation on the wholesale privatisation, that is, generation distribution and transmission. We thought that it should be a gradual thing but wholesale privatisation calls for serious concern.”
He however, warned that due diligence must be followed if the exercise would achieve its goal.
He noted that over 70 percent of the problem of socio-economic being faced by people in this country could be put on the doorsteps of power, therefore what it means is that solving the problem of power sector means that the 70 per cent of the peoples’ problems would have been solved.
While responding to the chairman of the committee, the acting director general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim told members of the committee that in the case of the generation companies they are expected to rump up the capacity of each Genco from the current low status to about 5000MWs in five years.
Chairman Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi, while receiving the team at his Commission noted that the agency would ensure strict compliance to laid down rules.