Privatisation to raise electricity generation to 20,000mw by 2018

• U.S. group commends Nigeria’s power sector reform
THE Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has projected that the successful privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) would increase the country’s electricity generation capacity to 20,000mw by 2018.
Besides, the United States Government’s Power Africa Initiative has commended the Federal Government for the successful hand over of the power companies to the private sector.
Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Dikki made the power generation projection when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Power paid an oversight visit to the bureau recently in Abuja.
Represented by Kashim Ibrahim, who received the visiting committee members, Dikki said the target would be possible with private sector investment and managerial skills that would be injected into the sector by the purchasers of the successor companies.
Chairman of the House Committee on Power, Patrick Ikhariale, emphasised the need to ensure that Nigerians reap the benefits of the privatisation of the PHCN, especially in respect of the promises made by the successor companies.
He explained that over 70 per cent of the socio-economic challenges facing Nigerians were as a result of the poor performance of the power sector.
He reiterated that if the promises of a stable power sector with the privatisation of the successor companies are fulfilled, it would go a long way in addressing most of the challenges.
The Power Committee Chairman acknowledged the role of the in actualising the transformation agenda of the Federal Government and in achieving the Vision 20:2020, especially as it relates to the power sector.
Ikhariale said the agency’s process in privatising the successor companies has been transparent and stressed the need to sustain such transparency for the benefit of the economy.
The US Chargé d’Affaires, Maria Brewer, said that “the United States Government is proud to have contributed to this historic handover of power companies to the private sector and congratulates the Government of Nigeria (GON) on achieving a very important milestone in the liberalisation of the power sector.”
According to the statement, issued by the Public Affairs of the US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, the comments were made in response to the Presidential handover of the licenses and share certificates to the new owners of the PHCN successor generation and distribution companies.
USAID Mission Director Michael Harvey said “the U.S. will continue to partner with Nigeria to advance a seamless transition from public to private sector management of the power sector to ensure that the Nigerian people have access to electricity.”
The statement said that the U.S. supports the achievement and encourages the Nigeria to sustain progress in the sector by addressing such critical needs as adequate transmission, gas availability, and a cost reflective tariff.
“Power Africa brings to bear a wide range of U.S. tools to support investment in Africa’s energy sector, including policy and regulatory best practices, pre-feasibility support, capacity building, long-term financing, political insurance, guarantees, credit enhancements and technical assistance.
Power Africa also provides coordinated support to help African partners expand their energy generation, transmission, and distribution capacity and access”, it added.