Stakeholders place new power owners on accountability scale

power line transmissionStakeholders in the nation’s electricity sector have tasked new owners of the successor companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to demonstrate requisite accountability and efficiency in the management of the assets.

They said management of the assets would go a long way in ensuring stability in the nation’s Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), which is characterised by outages for several years

The cost of doing business in Nigeria has reached roof-tops, while some manufacturers have relocated outside the shores of the country due to high energy cost, they also said.

Speaking with our correspondent, an energy expert, Saliu Adebayo said with the successful conclusion of the sale of the generation and distribution companies and eventual takeover by new investors , Nigeria’s power sector would be revitalised.

He also said Nigerians would soon enjoy regular power supply, adding that the development would be based on how the new owners of the power assets are accountable and efficient in the management of same.

He said: “The investors have a thriving electricity sector in Nigeria, but they must not allow profiteering take this away from them. They are duty-bound to improve infrastructure of the assets they acquired in order to boost power supply. They must be accountable and efficient while maintaining the assets because Nigerians cannot afford to witness another failed power institution under the private sector.”

A university lecturer, Hassan Suleiman said there is nothing wrong with the take- over of the assets of the defunct PHCN given the fact that governments in Nigeria have not demonstrated requisite management finesse of public assets

He said the private sector should be given a chance to manage the nation’s power sector.

He advised that the new owners of the power companies should see the assets they acquired as a bond between them and Nigerians, who need power supply.

“The new owners must sure be efficient in the management of the privatised companies. They must be accountable, which is the hallmark of corporate governance in business. They must make sure Nigerians see the desired change in power supply in no distant future”, Suleiman said.

An investment banker in a new generation bank based in Lagos, Soji Nelson, also posits that accountability should be the watchword.

He said it is important for the new owners to ensure reliable source of funding for the assets they acquired.

“Power projects are capital intensive ones and sure need long term loans in order to finance them. The owners would need such facility to be able to withstand the infrastructure deficit some of the assets would pose to them,” he said.

An official of EcoBank Plc said that his bank is ready to substantially support the new investors with a view to ensuring effective financing of plants.

The official, who sought not to be named, said the action of the bank was premised on its belief that the power sector holds the nation’s key to industrialisation.

Owners of the five generation companies are: Amperion Limited which got Geregu I Genco, Transcorp/Woodrock which acquired Ughelli genco, Mainstream Energy which got Kainji and Jebba genco, North South Power which acquired Shiroro genco, and NEDC/KEPCO alongside its local partner, Sahara Energy Resource Nigeria got the Egbin genco.

The distribution companies were acquired by KANN Consortium for Abuja distribution company (disco), Virgeo Power Ltd got Benin disco, West Power and Gas acquired Eko disco, NEDC/KEPCO for Ikeja disco, Sahelian SPV Power got Kano disco, Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company acquired both Ibadan and Yola discos, Interstate Electrics got Enugu disco, Aura Energy got the Jos disco while the 4Power Consortium comprising Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom state governments acquired the Port Harcourt disco.

They all promised to deliver better, affordable and reliable power to Nigerians.

But this promise will only make meaning to the people after they are ‘delivered from darkness’ occasioned by long years of epileptic power supply.

 

[Daily Trust]

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