FG hints at major review of power sector privatization, ownership targeted

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The Federal Government Thursday hinted at a planned major review of the privatization done in the power sector soon, stating that it was to engender greater capacity for improved performance.

President Muhammadu Buhari made this disclosure at the closing session of the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja.

He said that the review would involve the restructuring of the ownership of the power plants to ensure that owners who did not show sufficient capacity to operate the facilities, lost their stakes to new investors.

The President, represented by the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the move was geared towards opening up the sector for new investors expected to bring in fresh capital to make the plants more functional.

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Buhari revealed that negotiations would commence with power generation companies where the country was having the most difficulty in ensuring adequate power supply.

Recall that at the opening session of the summit, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, had rejected a proposal by one of the operators who urged the federal government to inject more money in the power assets sold to private investors.

The Chairman, Transcorp Ughelli Power Limited, Tony Elumelu, had urged the federal government to reconsider refinancing the electricity distribution companies, DisCos, by acquiring fresh shares of the firms.

Elumelu had said injecting fresh capital would check the current situation where operators of power plants were holding the government to ransom with endless demands.

But Osinbajo had argued that rather than offering additional funding, current owners of those companies who had no capacity to finance their operations should transfer their equity to fresh investors to help realize that objective.


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Author: Editor