24 July 2014, Abuja –The Federal Government is looking at various privatisation models to adopt in selling the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to private investors. Its being managed by Manitoba Hydro International Limited of Canada,
Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said the Federal Government will not falter on its resolution to privatise the value chain of the power sector.
He spoke on the sideline of a ceremony in Lagos to mark receipt of 248 containers of power equipment abandoned at dry ports in some parts of the country.
Although Prof Nebo did not give specific timeline for the privatisation of the transmission, he said the government is looking at various models, including full privatisation, regional privatisation and concessioning models.
He, however, explained that it would not be done in one fell swoop as was the case of generation and distribution companies to avoid undue post-privatisation challenges, stressing that if there are enough generation and distribution capacities without adequate transmission capacity, Nigerians will still not get power, so government wants to get it right from the beginning.
He said: “The power sector timetable is on course but there are teething problems we are encountering. Nigeria took on a huge privatisation exercise. No country in the world has done the volume of privatisation of utilities that Nigeria has done, and which was done in very transparent process. So coming out of that is not easy. For instance, without privatisation, these 248 containers probably will still be there. No private industry will allow that to happen, they will take delivery on the spot and get to work.
“But with privatisation, at least we are sure that with regard to generation and distribution, we have private companies and TCN is being managed by an international organisation, Manitoba Hydro International. With this you can see we are stationed for eventual handing over all of these to those who know how to do business and it is private companies that know how to do business. Government should be an enabler.
“I cannot tell you privatisation period but now we are looking at various models. There are models of full privatisation, models of regional privatisation and there are models of concessioning. We are looking at all these. What is amazing and encouraging is the massive inflow of those who want to come and invest in TCN. If people didn’t believe in Nigeria or its buoyant economic stance, nobody will be coming to this country.
“People are coming in droves to invest, which is not an indication of a country that is failing or does not take care of its people. So government is doing everything possible to attracting these businesses and if they come they don’t go back. But when it comes to transmission, government needs to think through it and maybe not do it in one fell swoop as we did generation and distribution.”
– The Nation