By Etuka Sunday
The Federal Government has constituted a Power Investors’ Committee to address the many challenges confronting the smooth implementation of power privatisation.
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Benjamin Ezra Dikki, who made that disclosure, said the Committee was similar to the Bankers’ Committee in Nigeria and chaired by the Vice-President and Chairman of the National Council on Privatization (NCP), Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo.
The Director General who was represented by the Head, Stakeholders Relations Unit of the Bureau, Alhaji Aliyu Maigari at an interactive session with members of the House Committee on Privatization and Commercialization, the new owners of PHCN successor companies and the BPE during the Committee’s oversight visit to the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IEDC), said the Committee would meet quarterly to review issues and take critical decisions on the privatised Power sector.
A statement by the BPE’s Head of Public Communications, Chigbo Anichebe said the membership was drawn from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), Ministry of Power, Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and other relevant stakeholders.
Briefing the Committee members earlier, the Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of the IEDC, Mr. John Darlington informed the Committee that the Distribution Company was the biggest in the country with 1,073,673 customers.
He called on the government to take steps to make the generation and distribution power companies to be financially viable to enable them undertake aggressive investments in power infrastructure.
The DMD said this could be done through having a tariff structure that is cost reflective and recognizes current market situation as well as undertake sustainable investment in the transmission network to deliver generated capacity to distribution companies without constraints.
He also called for vigilance by the distribution companies and the relevant authorities to combat vandalism and electricity theft which rob legitimate customers of power and revenues that will help sustain the market.
Darlington further called for the mediation by the government to delineate asset boundaries between the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and distribution companies for effective network operation.
At the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), the Managing Director, Engr. Oladele Amoda said the company had secured $150 million to expand and improve its network.
He told the lawmakers that the company planned to invest N42 billion in the next five years for network improvement to reduce aggregate technical, commercial and collection (ATC&C) losses and enhance service delivery.