Friday, 25 July 2014

FG considering three options for TCN privatisation

Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo
The Federal Government is considering three options for the privatisation of the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, in Lagos on Thursday while answering questions from journalists during the handover of 248 containers containing electrical equipment, which were abandoned at the Lagos Port by the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria from 2003.
The options being considered, according to the minister, are full privatisation, regional privatisation and concession of the TCN to private investors.
Nebo described as massive the inflow of potential investors from all over the world into the country for the proposed privatisation of the TCN.
The minister, who did not give a tentative date when the privatisation process would begin, said the Federal Government was overwhelmed with the interest shown by investors, but would outline the process schedule in due course.
The Nigeria Customs Service finally released about 248 containers of electricity equipment, implements and instruments belonging to the PHCN, some of which had been abandoned for 11 years, while the others came into the country seven years ago.
The equipment and other materials, which had been held in the wharf, were not cleared, thereby incurring huge demurrage and cost of clearance.
The containers were released to the TCN following the intervention of the Federal Government.
Commenting on the development, Nebo expressed gratitude to the NCS, saying many power projects that should have been delivered over a decade ago had been stalled by the seizure of the items.
According to Nebo, the recovered items will be committed to 11 power projects across the country, which should be completed soon.
“All the containers will be taken to the sites where they are needed. Work will begin in earnest. We will investigate why this happened and make sure that no such thing ever occurs again in the power sector or other sectors for that matter,” he added.
Some of the projects that have been stalled as a result of the non-clearance of the equipment, according to the minister, are the Abor Mbaise-Mpu-Ideato substation; Oba-Nnewi substation and lines; Dantata substation; Omotosho-Egbe-Ajah lines; Ikorodu-Odoguyan-Shagamu transmission lines; Nsukka-Ayanba lines; and supply of current transformers and capacitor voltage transformers, among others.
Nebo pleaded with the NCS to ensure the release of other government containers that might have been abandoned at the ports for many years for the betterment of the country.
Commenting on the development, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, TCN, Mr. Mack Kast, said the recovery of the items was in consonance with the government’s agenda to reform the power sector.
He said the government was committed to giving Nigerians 20,000 megawatts of electricity by 2020, adding that the power evacuation capacity of the TCN would be doubled to drive the agenda.


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