The Federal Government has said it would on Monday formally hand over the privatized power plants to private sector investors.
Vice President Namadi Sambo gave the assurance on Friday in Abuja during a special forum on financing the power sector reforms for economic development.
The forum, which was supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria and sponsored by Nigerian Deposit Money Banks, was aimed at reviewing the contribution of the banking sector to the reforms in the power sector.
Sambo, who is also the Chairman of the National Council on Privatization, said that all labour issues with workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria had been resolved.
To this end, he added that the payment of severance, pensions and gratuities of all the 47,913 workers would be settled on Friday (yesterday).
He said, “At the inception of the privatisation programme, a total of 25 generating companies and 54 distribution companies sent in bids. After a rigorous and screening process, five bidders for the Gencos and 10 bidders for the Discos were successful.
“The relevant government agencies have since February 2013 signed the transaction document. The winning bidders have also paid their bids in two instalments of 25 per cent and 75 per cent by the end of August 2013.
“With their full payment of the transaction amount, the stage is now set for the formal handing over of the generation and distribution companies on Monday 30 September, 2013.
“Another major success of the transaction was the successful resolution of all labour issues. The agreement reached is being implemented and payment of severance, pensions and gratuities of all the 47,913 workers of the PHCN is planned to be completed today.”
The VP described the response of the private sector to government’s call to invest in the sector as massive.
This, he added, is a clear demonstration of the confidence of investors not only in the potential of the nation but in the government’s commitment to deliver the dividends of democracy in the power sector.
He said the FG was also implementing an extensive programme for the upgrading and expansion of power transmission capacity and called on the banking sector to support in financing power projects in the country.
“The FG through NNPC, the Nigeria Gas company and the private sector, is implementing a robust programme for the realisation of Nigeria gas masterplan with specific interest in meeting the gas-to-power demand in the country at a planned cost of about $8bn.
“Already, $500m out of the $1bn Eurobond would be utilised as counterpart funding for the implementation of this project. This is another opportunity for our bankers to participate,” he added.
He said the FG would, in tandem with the goals and objective of the National Electric Power Policy, continue to improve the efficiency and affordability of power supply.
The VP added that the generation capacity of the power sector is being improved.
He said, “We are investing in improving the generation capacity of this country by the construction of Zungeru hydropower which would add 700 MW at a cost of $1.2bn; the construction of the Mambilla Hydropower plant which would add 3,050 MW and we are utilising $1.7bn from the sale proceed of the NIPP power plant as counterpart funding for this project that would cost $6.4bn.”