Core investors in the successor companies carved out of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria are expected to fully take over the electricity companies in October, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, has said.
Dikki, who said this in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Tuesday by Head of Public Communications at the privatisation agency, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe, added that by then, the investors would have paid the balance of 75 per cent of the bid price for the respective companies since they had earlier made the mandatory 25 per cent payment.
He also gave assurance that power supply in the country would improve when the private investors take over.
The BPE boss expressed confidence that the introduction of sound maintenance culture would ensure that the current installed capacity of 6,000 megawatts was exploited and put on the national grid, stressing that this alone would stabilise power supply in the country.
Dikki appealed that the investors be given time to increase capacity as they would, after takeover, retool the plants and bring in new machineries like turbines, which are not easily bought off the shelf, to put power generation and supply on proper footing.
He said the investors would need time to retool after takeover and that between two and three years would be required to bring in the needed machineries, after which the country would witness increased and steady power supply.
The BPE boss said any investor that was unable to pay the 75 per cent bid balance within six months from the date the mandatory 25 per cent bid payment was made would be penalised.
He, however, expressed the confidence that all the investors were serious businessmen who had the required financial muscle to make the payment.
Dikki allayed fears of monopoly by the investors as the necessary framework and institutional checks had been put in place to regulate their activities and pricing.
On the agriculture and transportation sectors of the economy, Dikki said the bureau was working in tandem with the transformation agenda of the present administration to transform the two sectors through the privatisation of the Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange and the setting up of a regulatory body in the transport sector.
“When privatised, ASCE will ensure appropriate and stable pricing for all agricultural produce and warehousing, while the setting up of the Nigerian Transport Commission will regulate activities in the transport sector,” he said.
Dikki appealed to all Nigerians to make the country conducive enough to continue to attract direct foreign investments.
Information from Punch was used in this report.