FG won’t privatise transmission infrastructure – Nnaji

Oscarline Onwuemenyi
The Federal Government has stressed its plans to fast-track its privatization plans for the power sector in line with its promise to improve electricity supply for domestic and industrial use in the country.

It stated, however, that it was not yet ready to privatise power transmission, but would take proactive steps to“ensure its credible management to avoid the current lapses.”

The Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, who stated this during two separates meetings on Thursday in his office in Abuja, noted that there was a need for greater urgency in government’s efforts to open up the sector and build necessary infrastructure to boost power supply in Nigeria.

While receiving the Nnaji spoke during a in his response assured the High Commissioner that Nigeria had faced enough embarrassment because of her energy crisis and that time had come to close mark the problems in the sector which he noted was more of inefficiency and maladministration.

The Minister said he would not afford to toy with the confidence and trust Mr. President, his colleagues in Council as well as Nigerians in general had in him, assuring that as head master in the sector, he must ensure that the issue of inefficiency was addressed through proactive measures.

The Power Minister further revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan has recognized the enormity of challenges facing Independent Power Producers in Nigeria and has vowed to address them.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has asked Nigeria to see the challenges of her power sector as a war that must be undoubtedly fought and won to show Africa the strength of size and weight.

The challenge was made through the Indian High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Mahesh Sachdev who paid a visit to the Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji.

He said that for the long standing relations with India and as two prominent leaders of the Commonwealth, India would do all in her powers to complement the efforts of Nigeria in driving darkness out of Nigeria through what he called “regular gesture of support”.

The Envoy told the Minister that some quality and credible Indian investors are interested in the privatization programme in the Nigerian power sector and pleaded with the Minister to ensure that Indian buyers are favourably considered without distorting the level playing ground mantra of the present administration.

Prof. Nnaji who also hosted the Executive members of Independent Power Producers Association of Nigeria (IPPAN) led by its Chairman, Professor Jerry Gana, reinstated his commitment to pursue the injection of efficiency adding that the existing power plants must avoid losses and should operate as companies with demonstrable capability to contribute to the Federal Revenue reserve.

The Association, according to Professor Gana had come to congratulate the Minister on his appointment and expressed delight that at last, a patriotic, knowledgeable professional is on the saddle to pilot the ship of this sector long abandoned on the high sea to safety.

Gana said the IPPAN was delighted at the appointment of what he called a solution provider who would deliver Nigeria from darkness adding that Nnaji possesses the knowledge and passion to do Nigeria proud.

He said the Association directed its Exco to meet with the Minister to press the need to implement to letters – the EPSR act of 2005, to address the issue of gas supply to power projects and fasten the implementation of bulk trader programme.

Professor Nnaji assured the Association of his resolve towards availability of gas pointing up that the Petroleum Ministry and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are synergising to get the gas challenges sorted out soon.

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