Government to handover PHCN to private owners in July

Mrs Zainab Kuchi, minister of state for powerYemie ADEOYE

26 May 2013, Sweetcrude, Houston – THE Nigerian government has set the timeline for the handover of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, successor companies for July 2013 only if all pending labour issues are properly addressed.

Already the preferred bidders of the entities which includes 11 distribution companies, Discos, and six generation companies, Gencos, have all paid the 25 per cent bid price and would be required to make the balance 75 per cent payment before taking over the entities.

Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja recently, Minister of State for Power, Zainab Kuchi, assured that the handing over to the successor companies will definitely be by the end of July which she said was the projection of both the ministry and the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE.

She noted however, that the projection was dependent on the peaceful resolution of all labour related issues especially the payment of the severance of PHCN workers.

“We are finalizing on labour, the labour issue is what is standing between us and the handing over and all the issues that were there had been addressed and we are about to begin payment; as soon as the payments are finalized by June ending, we will definitely be handing over to the successor companies by the end of July.

“That is the projection we have here and that is the stance of the BPE which has a timeline which was created with the labour issues in mind. We have addressed all the issues, the funding are there for the payment of labour and all we are doing is data computation and as soon as we are done with that, the handing over will be done.”

She restated that the nation will attain 10,000MW by December 2014 if the bottlenecks being experienced with the transmission arm of the sector were removed. She noted that generation capacity is currently up to 7,000MW while government is trying to increase the wheeling capacity which cannot evacuate up to 5,000 because of the rot the sector has suffered.

Kuchi explained that with the funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Euro bond that government just finalized to tackle transmission infrastructure, “come December 2014, we see the possibility of wheeling 10,000MW because we have up to 7,000MW now she claims.”

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