‘Power recovery programme will correct privatisation pitfalls’

‘Power recovery programme will correct privatisation pitfalls’
Minister of Power Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola

 The Federal Government will not review the privatisation of the power sector, rather it will review the aspects of the exercise that have made the industry to perform poorly over the years, senior officials of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing have explained

The power sector was privatised on November 1, 2013, when the Federal Government formally handed over the successor companies of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria to private investors.

The abysmal performance of the sector, particularly that of the power distribution companies since the industry was privatised, has prompted calls for a total review of the entire privatisation process.

But instead of reviewing the whole process, officials at the ministry stated that the government had decided to review aspects of the privatisation that were problematic through the Power Sector Recovery and Implementation Programme.

A senior official of the ministry, who spoke to our correspondent in confidence, said, “The whole essence of the PSRIP is about making not just the Discos viable, but other arms of the value chain as well. The PSRIP contains a lot of reviews and reforms, because it will be dealing with things like liquidity, transparency, energy sufficiency and governance.

“This reform is for both operators and stakeholders. So the PRSIP itself, in a way, can be likened to a reform or review process of the power sector. The minister has always supported the concept of privatisation and he has always said so. He said so even at the last meeting with operators in the sector.

“He is of the view that you can review and reform the aspects that are problematic instead of reviewing the whole process. So, essentially, the recovery programme for the sector contains elements of review and reform, because it addresses some of those issues that are problematic in the privatisation process.”

Another official stated that the PRSIP, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council on March 22 this year, contained a series of policy actions, as well as operational and financial interventions by the Federal Government to attain financial viability of the power sector and reset the Nigerian electricity supply industry.

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