World Bank has commended the federal government for the successful unbundling of the former Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to the Transmission, Generation and Distribution Companies and its on-going liberalization and privatization process.
The Global Bank Senior Energy Specialist, Erik Fernstrom said the success of the transaction has put an end to the doubts of many who felt that the exercise was an ambitious and uphill task.
A statement by the Assistant Director, Press, Patricia Deworitshe quoted Fernstrom to have gave the commendation at the send forth dinner held for him and Sharon Pauling, Country Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Abuja at the weekend.
He said though it is the largest form of privatization in the world, Nigeria’s story is a success and indeed laudable. He thus urged Nigerians to be patient for the full manifestation of the dividends of the exercise. Erik, who was described as an encyclopedia of the power sector by United Nations Industrial Development Organization Country Rep. Patrick Kormawa, applauded Nigeria for keeping faith with the Privatization Process. “This ambitious programme as it is called has proven to the World that Nigeria is serious and I wish that more sectors can be like the power sector in terms of magnitude. He said there is so much commitment on both the Federal Government and private sector, hence he promised to keep watch over Nigeria, as a friend of the country, even though he is far away in Washington. Leader of the Energy Working Group in Nigeria, Patrick Kormawa who isalso the Country Rep. of UNIDO in Nigeria commended both Sharon and Erik for their contributions to the success of the group in Nigeria. He said working together as a group magnified their collective contributions to the energy sector in Nigeria.
The statement also quoted the Permanent Secretary, Power, Dr. Godknows Igali, who represented the Honorable Minister, Prof Chinedu Nebo to have said that both Erik and Sharon deserved to be celebrated. “We value your contributions to the development of power in Nigeria, both of you did so much to build the enabling environment by bringing your institutions’ capacities to bear for sustainable power reform”. Igali said that “as a country we appreciate what both of you did towards the success of the sector and also urge you, to continue to sell Nigeria to the world in Tanzania and Washington respectively”. He expressed Nigeria’s gratitude to them and thus sought more assistance from President Barack Obama’s “Power Africa Initiative”. He said President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda is underscore by the need for greater access to electricity by greater households in Nigeria.
Sharon in her response said USAID has been very active in both the power and water resources sectors. She also remarked that Nigeria has a story to tell and will continue to sell Nigeria to investors in Tanzania and beyond. She is leaving Nigeria to resume at her new duty post in Tanzania after a 4-year successful tenure in Nigeria, while Erik of the World Bank moves to Washington.