05 February 2014, Lagos – The Chief Executive Officer of General Electric, GE, Nigeria, Mr. Lazarus Angbazo has expressed confidence in Nigeria power sector reforms. Angbazo stated this during his remarks at the Standard bank Investor’s Conference in Lagos Tuesday.
He noted that though the present power situation of the country is regrettable and lamentable, investors are confident that the situation will soon change due to a lot of factors, chief of which is the sincerity of the privatisation efforts of government.
“As primitive as the present situation appears, nearly everyone can now see light at the end of the tunnel due to a combination of factors. Fundamentally, a “well-thought-out” power sector reform is being implemented by the Nigerian government.
Our confidence is buoyed by the fact that the right steps are being taken in the right direction. As you are aware, the Power sector is capital intensive and the financial and technical resources required to rescue Nigeria from this dismal and unacceptable condition are clearly beyond the government’s capabilities. This is why we believe that government has done the right thing by implementing full scale privatisation,” he said.
He commended the government for the successful completion of the first phase of the privatisation process, which he noted was completed relatively very well.
“Privately owned and operated generation and distribution companies have emerged. PHCN assets and liabilities have also been effectively transferred. It is instructive that this process was funded almost wholly by indigenous financial institutions to the tune of an estimated $3.4 billion.
“Preferred bidders in the 2nd phase privatization are expected to be announced very shortly, leading to the emergence of 10 Gencos representing over 4,000 megawatts (4GW) of additional power. It will be interesting to see the role of the international investment community in this phase because local banks may be constrained by new regulations such as single obligor limits, which will open the field to international lenders.
“Against all odds and public scepticism, I am personally very pleased by the transparency and clear thinking that has gone into the privatisation process so far. Nigerians owe the President and his team a ton of gratitude for the progress so far.”
Angbazo who described his organisation, GE as “a power company”, and one of the biggest in the world, with over 25% of the world’s power generation capacity produced by GE turbines says GE is proud that it is playing a significant role in Nigeria’s Power sector.
It will be recalled that the global infrastructure giant, GE recently signed a financing agreement with Standard Bank, Africa’s leading financial institution in a partnership that seeks to provide affordable access to power infrastructure to augment traditional large scale grid capacity development.
The partnership will target 10 priority countries: Nigeria, Angola, Tanzania, South Africa and Ghana. Others are Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Financing activity will centre on project finance, equipment finance, trade finance and advisory. The program will be open to independent power producers (“IPPs”) and non-recourse infrastructure projects, industrials and manufacturers, natural resource companies, food and agricultural processors, small to medium enterprises (“SMEs”), and other potential borrowers.
– This Day