18 August 2014, Abuja – The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, has said that power privatisation in Nigeria has started yielding positive results with 18-hour uninterrupted power supply to consumers in parts of Lagos, the nation’s commercial nerve centre. He however lamented that the situation would have improved considerably but for gas supply constraints.
Dikki made the remarks when members of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA) paid a courtesy visit to the Bureau in Abuja on Wednesday, August 13, 2014.
He noted that power supply in Lagos and other parts of the country would have improved considerably but for the shortage of gas supply.
He said the new power owners had invested heavily to upgrade infrastructure and other requirements to give Nigerians steady and uninterrupted power supply “but the impediment is steady gas supply”.
While appealing to Nigerians to be patient with the new owners of the power assets, the DG maintained that government was doing everything possible to solve the gas challenge.
Dikki, who listed the establishment of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Debt Management Office (DMO) and National Pension Commission (PENCOM) as some of the achievements of the BPE to reform the Nigerian economy, said that despite these landmark achievements, “BPE does not embark on propaganda to beat its chest but take advantage of platforms provided by credible organisations like ABUCCIMA to showcase BPE’s achievements.”
Dikki stressed that the pension reform, for instance, had attracted over N4.2 trillion into the financial system and expressed the hope that in the next few years, “this will quadruple and give the banks stable funds to lend long term at low rates.”
He appealed for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in its original context to open up the oil and gas sectors so that jobs would be created to tackle the growing unemployment in the country.
“I appeal to relevant stakeholders and credible organisations like ABUCCIMA to prevail on the National Assembly to the pass the PIB with clear separation of the role of policy formulation, regulation and operation, so as to open up the oil and gas sectors so that jobs will be created to take care of the country’s teeming unemployed population,” he added.
Earlier, the First Deputy President of ABUCCIMA, Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye, had informed the DG that the purpose of the visit was to partner BPE to showcase its activities during the forth-coming 9th Abuja Trade Fair scheduled for September 23-October 6, 2014.
– This Day