Over 200 investors have indicated interest in the ten power plants being put up for sale by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) as the road show for the sales effectively kicked off yesterday in Lagos.
The ten power plants are Omotoso in Ondo State (450MW), Sapele in Delta (450MW), Geregu in Kogi (434MW), Olorunsogo in Ogun (750MW) and Ihovbor in Edo (450MW).
Others are Gbarain in Bayelsa (225MW), Alaoji in Abia (450MW), Calabar in Cross River (561MW),
Egbema in Imo (338MW) and Omoku in Rivers (225MW).
But some investors have expressed fears that the nation’s political and security risks, as well as policy summersaults, which have been the hallmark of Nigerian governments, may be areas of concern.
The Federal Government has however said it would give full support to the private investors to see that the power sector is nurtured through sustainable growth mechanisms in such a way that the economy becomes the greatest beneficiary of ongoing reforms in the sector.
In his goodwill message at the venue of the interactive session with potential investors, Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo, said the essence of the privatisation of the power plants is President Goodluck Jonathan objective of ensuring effective and qualitative power supply in the country.
He said, “We are ready to give maximum support to private investors to ensure that the power sector thrives in the country. Government, in its attempt to break the monopoly of electricity in the country, has led the power sector reform.”
He said that government is committed to the power sector reform, so as to ensure that power is effective, and believes strongly that the power sector would drive the economy better through the private sector.
The tremendous improvement that occurred in the telecommunication sector, according to him, can be replicated in the power sector.
“We are going to engage the private sector, just as was done with the telecom industry,” he said.
Speaking at the occasion, Ben jamin Ezra- Dikki , director general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said the privatisation of the ten power plants would be very transparent.
He observed that the Federal Government owns about 47 per cent of the investment in the Independent Power Projects, adding that the projects would be jointly handled by the Niger Delta Power Holding (NDPHC) and the BPE.
“We are going to be collaborating together, we also urge investors to give support to the ongoing privatisation,” he said.
But Joseph Olofinsola ,Partner, Consulting Deloitte, said the concern most investors have is government’s inconsistency in policy.
“In the past, when governments say something, they don’t live up to that expectation. The government has to do a lot of work in this respect,” he said.