Private firms take over Nigeria’s power generation, distribution next year

23 November 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – NIGERIA’s Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, will from the first week of December till January 2013 hold negotiations with the five preferred bidders for the nation’s power generation companies and 10 for the distribution companies.

The 15 are the preferred bidders selected by the BPE for the power companies under the government privatisation programme aimed at unbundling the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, the national power monopoly.

Disclosing this at a workshop on the Nigerian capital markets in Lagos, Mr, Ibrahim Babagana, acting director, Electric Power Department at the BPE, said the negotiations would lead to final hand over of the power firms to the preferred bidders by July, next year.

“Our intent is to conclude the execution of the legal documents by mid next year. So, by mid next year, around June and July, the bidders will take over. Prior to that, we are trying to put up transitional arrangements in collaboration with the preferred bidders and the managers of the companies.

“So, that is when we will conclude and they will sign the legal documents and make payment in full; thereafter, they will take over seamlessly without any problem,” Babagana said.

He said of the privatisation process, “I anticipate that if we hand over a plant and there are no Nigerian factors coming up, we should start seeing improvements, to be realistic, in the next two years. What is important is first, let us try and hand over and make sure that private sector operators take over.”

The BPE chief also said Manitoba Hydro International would continue as the management contractor for the Transmission Company of Nigeria, confirming what President Goodluck Jonathan said during a television chat on Sunday.

The Canadian firm had in April emerged successful in its bid to manage the TCN for three years, but rather than get the delegated authority it required to work, the Presidency on November 14 announced the cancellation of the contract, a development that had generated controversy.

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