NEPA to generate 10,000 MW before 2007

May 02, 2005 02:00 AM

National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) is expected to generate about 10,000 MW before 2007 as the process of its privatisation gets under way.
Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Director-General, Mrs Irene Chigbue, said this when presenting a paper on "The Nigerian Privatisation Programme: Opportunities, Issues and Challenges" at a workshop.

Chigbue said the improved power generation would be made possible following the signing into law the Power Sector Reform Act 2005 by President Olusegun Obasanjo, adding that opportunities abound in the generation and distribution sub-sectors. She urged investors to take advantage of the investment opportunities in the oil and gas, transportation and telecommunications sectors where their major utilities were being prepared for sale.
With about 20 companies slated for privatisation in BPE's 2005-2006 programme, it was golden opportunities for investors, she said.

Government parastatals slated for privatisation include NITEL, Nigerian Ports, NAFCON, ALSCON, NICON Hilton, NICON Insurance, Sheraton, oil services companies and Afri Bank among others. Chigbue regretted that Nigeria has the lowest per capita electricity consumption and the third lowest teledensity in the world "but often experiences scarcity of petroleum products in spite of being the ninth largest oil producer in the world."
She described the country's public transportation enterprises as "liabilities" and observed that the mineral resources were under-utilised, thereby rendering the sector undeveloped.

The agricultural sector, which employed 70 % of the nation's population was declining fast, she said. On the challenges facing Federal Government, she said the importance of sustaining the current strong political will to ensure the success of the reform and privatisation initiatives.
The BPE boss said the issues of the huge unfunded pension liabilities and the public enterprises, cross-debts both running into billions of dollars must be addressed. The treatment of surplus labour, salary arrears and severance pay "must be fair, principled and equitable," she said.

Source: This Day
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