Showcasing Nigeria’s Power Potentials

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Benjamin Dikki

A power summit which attracted international and national investors in the power sector to Lagos provides a forum for showcasing and exploring opportunities for long-term investments

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Nov. 11, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

INVESTORS in Nigeria’s power sector had a platform on October 15, to showcase the opportunities in the Nigerian power sector. The event which held in Lagos, served as a platform for foreign investors to showcase their spending capacity and the strategy to deliver power generation in the country. It was attended by a league of prolific and experienced investors from various nationalities eager to explore the opportunities in Nigeria which has been described as Africa’s most dynamic and exciting economy.

The summit was organised to discuss strategies for driving forward Nigeria’s private power market between old and new investors in international and national organisations in the sector. The Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, said the summit was organised to showcase the major turning points in Nigeria’s power sector. Chigbo Anichebe, head, public communications, BPE, said the process started with the restructuring of the ministry of power and a transparent and rigorous transaction process, the Manitoba hydro was first awarded the management contract for the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN. Thereafter, five core investors were awarded licenses for the generation companies while 10 investors were awarded license for the distribution companies.

He said that over $3 billion was expected from the privatisation of the 18 Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, successor companies making it the biggest ever privatisation transaction in global history. He noted that the federal government has been consistent in its policy to open up its economy and create an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive. He added that the present administration, has gone the extra mile in its efforts to create a conducive environment to attract private sector investments in infrastructure through the institution of sound policies; liberalization by abrogation of monopoly laws; separation of roles of policy formulation, regulation and operation; institution of appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks; the setting up of independent regulatory agencies and limiting government to policy formulation, planning and technical regulation; and the use of appropriate fiscal and tariff incentives.

According to him, the reform initiatives that were so far implemented by the federal government had worked; urging prospective investors to take an informed decision that the upcoming reform initiatives would work. He enthused that the world was waking up to the most attractive investment haven in Nigeria, urging the investors that had missed the last tranche of investment opportunities, not to miss the next ones.

However, the organisers of the summit are upbeat at the country’s long term economic prospects if investments in the power sector are sustained. Clarion Events, the organisers of the two-day event, forecast a subsequent significant growth in a number of industries that are dependent on the sector as well as employment creation. “Looking at Nigeria 20 years from now, what we will we see is an economy with a booming construction industry underpinned by the housing market, a minerals sector which is maximising opportunities for local entrepreneurs by not just exporting, but by supporting industrial manufacturing industries such as steal, glass iron and oil and gas (imagine if Nigeria could position itself as a petrochemical manufacturing hub for Europe with abundant feedstock and a vast local market as a buyer, millions of jobs would be created as would hundreds of millionaires). All this aside, without power and access to energy, this will only be a dream.

“In short, Nigeria has turned a corner, no longer a country driven by the corrupt and the workshy, Nigeria has woken up to the simple fact that by embarking on a mission to legitimise its economy and to create a manufacturing Mecca, the rewards will far outweigh those that corruption can bring. Inspired by not only a President (Goodluck Jonathan) with a mission to legitimise Nigeria’s economy, the governors of all states are seeing the potential and all will be equal partners in success should it be realised both politically and financially,” the organisation said.

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