08 November 2013, Asaba — DELTA State Government, says it had purchased N4.5 billion equity from three private owners that took over from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, despite its failure to win an outright bid in the deregulated power sector.
Briefing newsmen in Asaba, during the presentation of his mid-term report, the state Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Charles Emetulu, explained that the aim was to protect Deltans especially those in the rural areas from neglect.
“We have invested over N4.5 billion to buy shares from three of the private companies, so we are part of them now. As a government, we can take the task of extending light to rural areas where ordinarily, the private investors would initially abandon because they would prefer high populated areas for maximum profit. We will extend the light to those rural places, then investors can come and collect their tariff.
“We want to protect the people in the hinterland as we plough fund from our investment and at the end of the day, business wise we are covered and social responsibility wise, we are also covered.”
The commissioner said that the state government had in its bid “to ensure power supply to the state and support the development of power supply infrastructure in the country. To achieve these objectives, we made a contribution of N15.7 billion towards the implementation of the Federal
Government’s emergency power project.
“The ministry is currently repositioning itself to adjust to the dynamics of the post-PHCN era. Its role will in the future involve consumer protection promotion, power supply equipment, household energy appliances and systems, standards monitoring to ensure that Deltans enjoy the best of power supply services to be provided by successor entities.”
*Austin Ogwuda, Vanguard