Gas, power operators lament current state of Nigeria’s power sector

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Operators in the Nigerian power and gas sectors while at the Business Forum organised by the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), have decried the poor state of the country’s power sector, saying that nearly four years after the power assets were handed over to the private sector, both the government and the private sector have failed to deliver on their post-privatisation commitments as a result of liquidity challenges, ThisDay reports.

In his speech, while moderating the debate by the operators, the Chairman of Independent Petroleum Producers Group and Chief Executive Officer of First E & P, Mr. Ademola Adeyemi-Bero, said the federal government should have considered the fact that the private investors would require seven times the money they paid for the assets to upgrade the assets after take-over, before asking the investors to pay such high prices to buy the power assets.

Also speaking, a Director of Eko Electricity Distribution Company and Principal Partner, George Etomi and Partners, Mr. George Etomi, said the privatisation agreement had set clear Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for the owners of the distribution companies but argued that the federal government did not fulfill its own part of the agreement.

In his keynote address, a former Minister of Power and Chairman of Geometric Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, argued that tariffs must reflect currency movement, stressing that Nigeria is at the bottom in terms of power generation in Africa.

A former Group Executive Director (GED) in charge of Gas and Power at the NNPC, Dr. David Ige, said the power sector faced tactical and non-tactical challenges and identified the delay in the completion of the Escravos – Lagos Expansion and the Bonga Divert, which was initiated in 2014 to supply 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (equivalent of 650MW), as some of the tactical challenges.