samboFederal Government has set up a committee to review the lending regime in the country in an effort to ensure that the new investors in the power sector secure working capital at reasonable interest rates.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Dr. Godknows Igali, made this disclosure at the office of the Chairman of the National Council on Privatisiation (NCP), Mohammed Namadi Sambo, during a meeting with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria successor companies in Abuja recently.

Igali added that plans were underway to train and re-train sector operators on market rules in readiness for the declaration of the transition electricity market and that high-level efforts are being made to ensure stability in gas supply to the generation companies.

Sambo commended the winners of PHCN successor companies for their interest and confidence in the Nigerian economy.

He also expressed immense appreciation to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and other organs of government that contributed to the success of the power sector reform and privatization, noting that the transactions had been adjudged one of the most transparent in recent history.

Sambo directed all government agencies that had any outstanding approvals or documents connected to the power transaction to ensure that they are signed and delivered before Friday, October 11, 2013.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the BPE, Benjamin Dikki has reaffirmed that the Federal Government is committed to concluding the payment of all verified entitlements of the staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies before the end of second week of October and immediately thereafter commence the process of physical handover of the assets to the winning bidders.

He made this known in Abeokuta, Ogun State while fielding questions from reporters at the burial ceremonies of the mother of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatization and Commercialization, Senator Olugbenga Obadara.

He disclosed that the funds required for the exercise have been remitted to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) who has remitted same to the commercial banks for the payment of entitlements and union.

The Director-General recalled that the Federal Government had earmarked the entire $2.6 billion proceeds expected from the sale of PHCN successor companies for the settlement of the benefits of staff.

The BPE boss regretted that the delay in concluding payments to some staff were as a result of differences in names, multiple RSA accounts, wrong account numbers, etc submitted by some staff.

He assured that as auditors painstakingly verify and reconcile these differences, payments would be concluded as expeditiously as possible.


Information from The Guardian was used in this report.