The federal government Wednesday wooed European investors to acquire 80 per cent stakes in 10 power stations built under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), assuring them of maximum support in ensuring the success of electricity business in the country.
The Road Show to kick-start the international investment drive for the divestment of government stakes in the generation assets of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), which had started in Lagos, moved to London.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, said the essence of the privatisation of the power plants was in conformity with President Goodluck Jonathan administration’s objective in ensuring effective and qualitative power supply in the country.
Nebo said the current privatisation process provided a huge opportunity for international investors, who are seeking for viable investment opportunities with concomitant benefit of adding great value to the economic well-being of the people.
He stated that the opportunity would dwarf the great economic revolution occasioned by the liberalisation of the telecoms industry in Nigeria.
“This London Road show is to kick-start the international investment drive for the divestment of government stakes in the generation assets of the NDPHC. To provide you some background as to how we got here, two important tools that led to the reforms of the sector, the Nigerian Electric Power Policy (2001) and the subsequent Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 were products of about five years’ work by sterling experts in the field of electricity and utility reforms.
“The Act was a necessary foundation for charting a new course for a sector that had delivered far below the most liberal expectations of Nigerians,” he said.
Nebo said privatisation of all public generation and distribution companies was one of the pillars of the efforts of the federal government to reform the power sector.
He said the recent privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies was a testament to the commitment of government to the reform process.
On his part, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Gbenga Obadara, assured the potential investors that the federal government would provide security for their investments.
“We are in the best position to market Nigeria’s products. We will provide security for your investment in Nigeria and we are giving enough assurance of opportunities to investors in the country,” he said.
Speaking also, the Managing Director of NDPHC, Mr. James Abiodun Olotu, identified the 10 power stations to include the 450mw capacity plant at Omotosho in Ondo State; 450mw plant at Sapele in Delta State; 434mw plant at Geregu in Kogi State; 750mw plant at Olorunsogo in Ogun State and 450mw capacity plant at Ihovbor in Edo State.
Others are 225mw plant in Gbarain in Bayelsa State; 450 mw plant at Alaoji in Abia State; 561mw plant in Calabar, Cross River State; 338mw plant at Egbema in Imo State and 225mw plant at Omoku in Rivers State.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Mr. Benjamin Ezra- Dikki, said the privatisation of the 10 power plants would be very transparent.
“We are going to be collaborating together, we also urge investors to give support to the ongoing privitisation,” he said.
Information from ThisDay was used in this report.