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Nigeria: FG to Sell Power Holding Company of Nigeria in First Quarter, 2011

Gloria Ezeiru

Abuja — Following the ongoing reforms in the nation’s power sector, the federal government has restated its commitment to ensure a private sector-driven system, stressing that the privatisation of the generation and distribution arms of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) would be completed by the first quarter of next year.

The Minister of State for Power, Arc. Nuhu Somo Wya, made this known recently in Abuja during a meeting with a team of investors of the Commonwealth Business Council led by Peter Sharper.

Wya said: “It is with this goal in mind that the present administration in August, published its roadmap for the power sector reform and has commenced implementing a reform programme designed to incentivise private sector investment and pass the 17 generation and distribution companies to private ownership.”

The roadmap intends to attract private sector investment of $3.5 billion annually in a bid to move power generation from the current 3,500 megawatts to 40,000mw by the year 2020. In the interim, government hopes to attain the 7,000mw by April 2011, given recent moves to make the price of gas attractive to enable oil companies invest in gas processing and transmission projects.

The minister emphasised that government was determined to reinvigorate and drive to completion, the reform process first enunciated in 2001 because ” we now have the plans and the people able to deliver on this commitment”.

Maintaining that the transmission arm would still be in government hands while its management might have to be contracted out to private firms, he assured that president Jonathan hopes that Nigeria might attain regular power supply by the end of 2013.

Source: Leadership, Nigeria.  Image: Reuters

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