THE federal government said generator dealers cashing in on the nation’s current power supply challenges, would be out of business in a couple of months. According to the government, the gas supply constraint that has plagued the power sector lately and has caused epileptic electricity supply to many parts of the country will be resolved in less than two weeks.
Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, refuted the claim that generator importers were partly responsible for unstable power supply nationwide. He admitted that the country had experienced poor electricity supply lately but maintained that the government’s target of getting sustainable power by midyear was binding. The minister said, he didn’t believe that the generator dealers had influence on the power supply situation.
“I don’t think so. But the fact is that people need to take care of themselves because if there is not enough power supply, everybody becomes his or her independent power producer. And so, everybody now becomes a power supplier and that is because there is not enough power in the country. So, I don’t think that they (generator dealers) are the cause per say. I only think that people have to use defensive mechanisms to defend themselves. But it is also likely that as power gets more abundant and reaches more people, there will be a problem for the generator dealers because they will be out of business. Let me assure Nigerians, because I’ve met with the generator companies and importers to look for a better business, they will be out of business,” he said.
Nebo explained that the federal government had met with some of the generator dealers and had advised them to consider other business options. “If everything Mr. President, the Power ministry and the power sector are working on happens, Nigerians will not need generators any more.
General Electric lauds Power Sector Reforms
THE General Electric, GE, Nigeria, has expressed confidence in the Nigeria power sector reforms. Lazarus Angbazo, chief executive officer, GE, said although the present power situation in the country is regrettable and lamentable, investors are confident that the situation will soon change due to a lot of factors, chief of which is the sincerity of the privatisation efforts of government.
“As primitive as the present situation appears, nearly everyone can now see light at the end of the tunnel due to a combination of factors. Fundamentally, a well-thought-out power sector reform is being implemented by the Nigerian government. Our confidence is buoyed by the fact that the right steps are being taken in the right direction. As you are aware, the Power sector is capital intensive and the financial and technical resources required to rescue Nigeria from this dismal and unacceptable condition are clearly beyond the government’s capabilities. This is why we believe that government has done the right thing by implementing full scale privatisation,” he said.
Angbazo commended the government for the successful completion of the first phase of the privatisation process, which he noted was completed relatively very well. “Privately owned and operated generation and distribution companies have emerged. PHCN assets and liabilities have also been effectively transferred. It is instructive that this process was funded almost wholly by indigenous financial institutions to the tune of an estimated $3.4 billion.
“Preferred bidders in the 2nd phase privatisation are expected to be announced very shortly, leading to the emergence of 10 Gencos, representing more than 4,000 megawatts of additional power. It will be interesting to see the role of the international investment community in this phase because local banks may be constrained by new regulations such as single obligor limits, which will open the field to international lenders. Against all odds and public scepticism, I am personally very pleased by the transparency and clear thinking that has gone into the privatisation process so far. Nigerians owe the President and his team a ton of gratitude for the progress so far.”
Angbazo, who described his organisation, GE as “a power company”, and one of the biggest in the world, with more than 25 percent of the world’s power generation capacity produced by GE turbines, says GE is proud that it is playing a significant role in Nigeria’s Power sector. It will be recalled that the global infrastructure giant, GE recently signed a financing agreement with Standard Bank, Africa’s leading financial institution in a partnership that seeks to provide affordable access to power infrastructure to augment traditional large scale grid capacity development.
Taking Nigeria beyond Oil
THE Nigeria power sector has attracted investment commitments estimated at about $50 billion since the privatisation on November 1, 2013. Olusegun Aganga, minister of industry, trade and investment, said the privatisation of the sector has unlocked investment opportunities in the sector. He said that the privatisation of the power sector was successful and had been globally acknowledged, adding that other generating plants in the NIPP programme will also be privatised soon.
Aganga said the country has plans to significantly raise the contribution of the manufacturing sector to gross domestic product, GDP, in the next three years through policy stimulus and investments. He argued that since coming into office in 2011, the present administration decided to do things differently, adding that the federal government is desirous of taking Nigeria beyond oil. This, according to him, is part of the government’s ongoing transformation agenda. “We believe that it all starts and ends with competitiveness. It is competiveness that will revolutionise the Nigerian economy. In Agriculture, we commenced an agricultural transformation agenda, the scale of which has been never seen before in Nigeria. This was launched in 2011, with the target to produce an additional 20 million metric tonnes of food annually.”
According to Aganga, the agenda sets out to make Nigeria food sufficient, and to professionalise the Nigerian agricultural sector. “In Nigeria today, we don’t see agriculture as a social effort, or a charity action, we see agriculture as a business that needs private sector capital, discipline, and professionalism. These have opened boundless opportunities for investors,” he said.
He pointed out that the country has also commenced an ambitious drive towards industrialisation through the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, NIRP. “Since announcing our new auto policy, we have made more progress in auto, in just four months, than over the last 30 years combined. The likes of Hyundai of South Korea are also interested in coming into the country and also Daewoo. I met Tata three weeks ago and for those of you who are from the United Kingdom can testify that Tata is one of the celebrated industrialists over there today. They have taken over the auto industry in the United Kingdom. They are coming to Nigeria.”
Fire Kills Two Persons at NNPC Depot
THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, announced a fire incident at the truck park near the Kaduna Refinery in which two tankers got burnt and two persons were injured on February 6. Omar Farouk Ibrahim, acting group general manager public affairs division, NNPC, said the fire incident did not affect the operations of the refinery in anyway.
He said that the park where the fire incident occurred is some distance away from the Kaduna Refinery complex. “We, therefore, urge members of the public not to engage in panic buying as neither production nor distribution of petroleum products from the refinery was affected in anyway by the fire incident. The two persons who sustained injuries in the incident are currently receiving treatment at our clinic. Investigation has commenced to determine the cause of the fire”, Ibrahim said.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Feb. 17, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT