17 December 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Minister of state for Power, Hajia Zainab Kuchi, says the process for the winding up of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, has commenced, following last week’s resolution of the labour issues that had slowed down the privatisation agenda for the national power monopoly.
She said in Lagos that the process was being carried out in line with the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform, EPSR, Act, adding that a committee had been set up for the purpose.
“The committee will be a fast track committee that would work to ensure that this is completed quickly,” she said.
The EPSRA 2005 made provisions for the winding down of PHCN and transfer of its assets and workers to the 18 successor companies created from it.
Prior to the setting up of the committee, a previous committee, which was setup in 2011 by the Federal Government and given a few months to conclude their assignment included the Ministry of Power, Presidential Task Force on Power, PTFP, Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE, Ministry of Finance and the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company, NELMCO.
NELMCO was specifically set up to take control of stranded assets and liabilities of PHCN with a mandate to eventually liquidate the assets.
Such PHCN assets and liabilities are expected to be sold gradually and the proceeds used to settle unidentified contractors or bank debts that cannot be attributed to any of PHCN’s unbundled assets.
While PHCN’s unbundled assets, comprising the distribution companies, DISCOs, and the genreration companies, GENCOs, has been given out to buyers under the privatisation process, it was not certain last night how far NELMCO had gone with the assignment of appropriating and disposing of PHCN’s standed assetys.