Investors To Take Charge Of Nigeria Power Companies By 2013

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VENTURES AFRICA – Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has revealed that by July 2013, preferred bidders for the country’s power generation and distribution firms are expected to take control of the companies.

Speaking at a workshop on the Nigerian capital markets in Lagos on Wednesday, November 21; Acting Director, Electric Power Department, BPE, Ibrahim Babagana, said the BPE plans to start negotiations with the five preferred bidders for the generation companies and 10 for the distribution companies from the first week of December to January 2013, after which the process of transferring the companies to the bidders will commence proper.

“Our intent is to conclude the execution of the legal documents by mid next year. So, by mid next year, around June and July, the bidders will take over. Prior to that, we are trying to put up transitional arrangements in collaboration with the preferred bidders and the managers of the companies. So, that is when we will conclude and they will sign the legal documents and make payment in full; thereafter, they will take over seamlessly without any problem,” he said.

Babagana added that for succession of the project, certain issues such as labour and other related challenges needed to be resolved.

“I anticipate that if we hand over a plant and there are no Nigerian factors coming up, we should start seeing improvements, to be realistic, in the next two years. What is important is first, let us try and hand over and make sure that private sector operators take over,” Babagana said referring to the expected changes in the power sector after privatisation, Babagana said,

The BPE chief also said Manitoba Hydro International would continue as the management contractor for the Transmission Company of Nigeria, confirming what President Goodluck Jonathan said during a television chat on Sunday.

On the issue of the management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Babagana confirmed President Goodluck Jonathan’s stand that Canadian Manitoba Hydro International would continue as the management contractor for the TCN.

“The issue of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, which was embroiled in controversy, has been resolved. The Bureau of Public Procurement yesterday (Tuesday) issued us with a no objection and the contract has been resolved with Manitoba having to continue as the management contractor for the Transmission Company of Nigeria,” Babagana said.

There has been contradictions on the TCN management as it was formerly reported earlier this month that the president has cancelled the three years contract with the Canadian firm.

In a related development, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan in an interactive session with Nigeria community living in Islamabad, Pakistan, has assured that quite a number of cities in Nigeria would begin to enjoy uninterrupted power supply by June 2013 when all ongoing power projects are completed.

“We have (power) projects that are going on; so, before the end of the second quarter, that is almost middle of next year, most of these projects would have been inaugurated and we will be evacuating and that time; quite a number of cities will begin to have 24-hour of light.”

“When we get to that point, you will see that small scale enterprises will begin to make returns, and that is the way we can create jobs,” President Jonathan said.