24 May 2013, Abuja – Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Kuchi, has made a u-turn on her declaration before a committee of the Senate earlier this week that the nation would achieve 10,000 megawatts, mw, in power generation by December this year.
The minister said she was misquoted and that the 10,000mw target would only be feasible by 2014.
Disassociating herself from the alleged declaration at the Senate, Kuchi told journalists in Abuja: “With the processes that we have put in place, the statistics available to us, and the efforts at reforming the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, we will achieve 10,000mw by December next year.
“Though we are generating up to 7000mw of electricity currently, we are only able to wheel 4000mw because of our poor transmission network.
“By 2014, we will be able to wheel 10,000mw, by which time the National Integrated Power Project, NIPP, plants would have come on stream.”
She maintained that the privatisation programme for the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, was on course and that the PHCN power plants would be handed over to the new owners by July, as government was currently sorting out pending severance packages of electricity workers.
The minister added: “The claim that the Minister of State for Power said the generation and distribution companies that were bided for last year could not be handed over to successful bidders because the companies were currently not in good shape is also not accurate.
“In fact, at a recent Presidential Power Signing Summit, several agreements on vesting contracts and gas supply agreements were signed with preferred bidders.
“The preferred bidders, who were fully aware of the status of the companies, expressed total confidence in the privatisation programme and were particularly eager to take over the companies having paid the initial 25 per cent of the bid price.
“So, the statement made by me was that government intends to conclude the fulfillment of the terms of agreement reached with Labour before the handing over to the preferred bides, with a handover timeline of July ending.”