By John Ofikhenua, Abuja
The Federal Government is not planning to privatise the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Director of Energy, Mr. Yonana Malu made this known to reporters in Abuja yesterday.
The plan, according to him, is for the government to retain its ownership and concession a segment of the transmission.
He added that the plan is to reform the entity through concessioning to make it more efficient.
TCN is for reform, he said, stressing: the “government is not thinking of privatising. It is thinking of ways and means that private capital can be brought to the transmission company without giving out the ownership of the transmission company.
“So, we are thinking of concessioning segments of the transmission area so that you can have somebody building the high tension line covering areas that have not been reached and maintain the existing ones to get maximum value…
“The idea is not to privatise. The idea is to reform and make it efficient, bring in private sector operational modalities within the transmission company”.
On distribution, Malu confirmed that the Federal Government still owns 40 per cent shares in the 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos). He revealed that the current reforms in the power sector will make sure there is value and confidence.
The Director said: “We will make sure there is value for this 40 per cent and when the sector is strong enough, government will get better value. That is when we will take to the market for the appropriate value.
“When the interest is enough government will take the shares to the market,” he added.
Besides, the Director-General, Mr. Alex Okoh said the performance agreements of the DisCos were due this year.
He also dismissed the claims of DisCos that government has not operationalised its shares in the DisCos by contributing to their development.
He explained that the government has been servicing the energy distributors in different ways.
“Government is not supporting DisCos that is not true. The only money that the core investors have brought into the DisCos, is the cost of their acquisition 60per cent. “Subsequent fundings into the operations of DisCos have been borne by the DisCo itself. When I say the DisCos, that includes the Federal Government.
He cited that if the DisCos went for a loan from a bank, the obligation was not only on the core investors but also on the government.
Okoh said: “Right now the government through its agencies is funding the DisCos more than the core investors.
“CBN has created facilities, metering facilities, capex facilities and even the deficit in funding the generation companies has come essentially from the payment of assurance facility of the Federal Government.”
Okoh said out of the 10 National Integrated Power Projects plants, the Bureau is privatising the most viable five at the moment.
He announced that the proceeds from 234 transactions have hit N1trillion.
Unveiling the 2021 work plan, he said upon the completion of 36 projects, the BPE expects to generate a total net proceeds of N493,404,182,815.77.
He said that BPE’s plans to privatise national refineries was overruled.
Asked to state the involvement of the bureau in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) plan to acquire shares in Dangote Petroleum Refinery, he said “we absolutely have no role. Zero involvement. It does not concern us and we do not put our nose where we do not belong to.”
Okoh noted that Zungeru Hydro Power Plant that is to generate 2,630megawaat (Mw) is scheduled for concessioning in August 2022.