By Etuka Sunday
The Chairman Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Olugbenga Obadara has said that the lack of maintenance culture in public enterprises was one of the reasons for privatisation of such public enterprises.
He made this known when the Senate Committee on Privatisation went on an oversight visit to Olorunsogo Power plant in Ogun State on Tuesday.
He decried the poor maintenance history, saying it greatly affected operations of the plant.
Obadara maintained that where there is adequate availability of power, there would be appreciable growth and development in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and growth in the Nigerian economy.
In response, Dr. Deji Adeleke, the Chairman, Sepco-Pacific Partners Limited, owners of Olorunsogo Power Plant, said his company was well aware of the maintenance issue at the plant when it conducted a due-diligence on the plant facilitated by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
He said that his company inherited equipments at the plant that not had any major overhaul maintenance in the seven years since the commissioning of the plant contrary to the recommendation of the manufacturers.
A statement by the Head, Public Communications, BPE, Chigbo Anichebe quoted Adeleke to have disclosed that the company has embarked on an aggressive program of a major overhaul of the plant based on a medium to long-term plans to effectively carryout the program.
The Chairman said his company had engaged a Chinese firm, Huafeng Electric Power Technology Engineering Company, as Operation and Maintenance (O&M) operators for the plant.
He pointed out that the sum of $25 million had been earmarked for maintenance and replacement of transformers on the plant and that transformers have been purchased and are being imported to replace the two that were gutted by fire in September last year before his company took over the plant.
He expressed optimism that in the next three months, all eight turbines at the plant would work effectively and the plant would meet its generation capacity of 336 mw for transmission to the national grid.
Earlier, the Senate Committee on Privatisation, led by its Chairman, Senator Olugbenga Obadara paid a courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
While receiving the Committee in his office in Abeokuta, Governor Amosun noted that for “Nigeria to develop, it must be private sector driven.”
He said that adequate power supply would guarantee the growth of the Nigerian economy and expedite the effective take-off SMEs in the country.
He urged that investors in the power sector should be continually monitored and charged the Senate Committee not to relent on this, adding that the “Privatisation Committee had a key role to play in ensuring that the private investor run these businesses effectively”.
It would be recalled that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in December 2013 transferred the ownership of Olorunsogo Power plant to Sepco-Pacific Energy Partners Limited.
Olorunsogo power plant consists of 8 PG6581B gas turbines with associated generators and auxiliaries. The plant has a generation capacity of 336mw.