FG to sink N1.6bn privatisation proceeds in power transmission

Power transmission20 August 2013, Abuja – Much of the N1.6 billion in proceeds from sale of independent power projects will go to finance efforts to tackle transmission problems, Power Minister, Chinedu Nebo has said.

The funding will also capitalise Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader, NBET, “to guarantee smooth operation for independent power providers in the country,” said Nebo, stressing that NBET “will be fully capitalised before the end of the year.”

In talks with members of the Independent Power Providers Association of Nigeria, IPPAN, at the weekend in Abuja, Nebo called for “more active participation” of independent power providers in the sector.

“Government is poised to tackle the problem of transmission and as such is committing majority of the about $1.6 billion proceeds to be realized from the sale of National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) to it, to ensure that there is enough wheeling power provided for the distribution of every megawatt of electricity generated,” Nebo said.

Geometric, Aba, considered the country’s first independent power project, is expected commissioned soon by the President.

The drive to attract independent production could see import duties on power equipment waived to meet “suppressed demand” for power, said the minister.

It is “so huge that no matter the number of power providers on board, there will still be a market for any amount of power generated,” he said Drawing analogy with telecommunications explosion, he said “what is about to happen in the power sector will dwarf that of telecoms.”

But IPPAN chairman, Jerry Gana called for urgent government intervention to tackle challenges and fast track development of power plant projects being undertaken by its members.

– Judd-Leonard Okafor, Daily Trust

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