Stories by Etuka Sunday
The National Council on Privatization (NCP), on Wednesday announced the formal hand over of Olorunsogo Power Plc to SEPCO Pacific Partners Ltd.
The hand over brought the total number of power assets handed over to the private sector in the last four months to 16.
A statement by the Head, Public Communication, Chigbo Anichebe quoted the Chairman of NCP and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo at the handover ceremony as saying that since the passage of Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) 2005 and the unbundling of NEPA into 18 successor companies, very little was done to advance the reform of the Power Sector until the coming into Power of President Goodluck Jonathan led to the enunciation of the Transformation Agenda of the nation’s economy.
The Vice President was represented by the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Dikki. Sambo said, “It was the realization that Nigeria will not attain the desired economic growth without adequate power that informed the power sector reform.”
He hopes that the “participation of the private sector would bring about higher generation capacities through the provision of more efficient and cost effective power stations and improvements in electric power distribution, in the areas of billing and collection, transmission networks, etc”
The Vice President pointed out that the Transformation Agenda of the present administration seeks to continue to open up other sectors of the economy to private sector investments, adding that this would free government resources for the provision of social services to the Nigerian people.
Sambo further assured there was hope that “Nigeria will rise and shine brightly very, very soon”.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of SEPCO-Pacific, Dr. Adedeji Adeleke noted that Olorunsogo Power Plc was SEPCO’s first venture outside China, but has since built over 10,000 mega watts of power in India, Iran and Saudi Arabia. He reiterated the belief of SEPCO-Pacific in Nigeria economy.
“I have not met a crop of individuals that are as committed, as straight forward as BPE staff”. He noted that it was the commitment and transparency exhibited by the BPE that led to the success of Federal Government power reform and privatization program, despite all the challenges encountered.
The DG, BPE on his part emphasized that both the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and the BPE will continually monitor the operations of the successor companies and would not hesitate to sanction any core investor that does not deliver on the performance agreement that was executed with the Government.
Recall that the Phase 1 of Olorunsogo Power Plant which has a capacity of 335MW was constructed between 2002 and 2007 at the cost of $US167,291,674.76. The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN)
funded 35% of the cost while the balance of 65% was financed through vendor financing provided by SEPCO at the interest rate of 6% per annum.