Nigeria has formally handed over its power generating firms to the private investors who won the bid for the companies as part of the privatisation of the key power sector in the country.
PANA reports that the move is being hailed by the government as the solution to the country’s perennial power problem.
Africa’s most populous nation of 160 million generates about 4,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, which is largely inadequate to power the country and has been blamed for the epileptic power supply to residences and businesses.
By contrast, South Africa, which has a population of about 50 million, generates around 35,000MW.
Speaking while handing over the share certificates to the core owners of the successor companies of the government monopoly Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), President Goodluck Jonathan was cautious in making promises of improved power supply.
He said while his government does not expect the power sector to be revitalised overnight, “we can all look forward to a better time very soon as we have seen in the Telecommunication and banking sectors.”
The President described the process of the privatisation programme as the most transparent in the history of privatisation in the country, saying the government was working out modalities to tackle the challenges such as the payment of severance allowances to the PHCN staff.
The power generation companies whose shares certificates were handed over to new owners included Geregu, Ughelli, Kainji, Shiroro and Egbin Power Plc; while the distribution firms were those of Abuja, Benin, Eko, Ibadan, Ikeja, Jos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Yola.