A former Minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, while speaking on Arise Television has stated that the power Privatisation process that led to the handing over of Nigeria’s power assets to the private investors, in line with the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005, was scuttled by vested interests of the programme, ThisDay reports.
Nnaji noted that the two criteria set out under the privatisation programme to determine qualified investors were financial capacity and technical competence. Nnaji, however, alleged that at a certain stage of the process, these two requirements were scuttled, stressing that some of the investors who bought the assets do not have the capacity to raise funds.
Nnaji also debunked the allegation by some of the investors that the workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), who were opposed to the privatisation of PHCN assets did not allow the investors access to the assets for the purpose of due diligence. According to him, the federal government deployed soldiers to guard PHCN assets and also ensure that investors were allowed access to the assets slated for privatisation.
To address the country’s power deficit, Nnaji called for the introduction of cost-reflective tariffs and the concessioning of the Transmision Company of Nigeria (TCN) to a number of companies. According to him, having small distribution networks with embedded generation similar to the system in Aba, Abia State, is also one of the ways to move the country’s power sector forward.
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