President Goodluck Jonathan has warned that further delays or a shift in the timeline for the conclusion of the planned privatisation of the successor power utilities hived off from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria will no longer be entertained.
The president, who made this abundantly clear at last Tuesday’s meeting of the Economic Management Team in Abuja, which had in attendance the Ministry of Power, Bureau of Public Enterprises and other government departments associated with the power reform programme, said any attempt to delay the process will be considered as sabotage against his reform agenda in the power sector.
It was gathered that Jonathan, who has shown tremendous zeal in opening a new chapter for Nigeria’s low performing power sector, warned officials handling the exercise that his administration would no longer tolerate undue delays in the privatisation of the power assets and would not hesitate to sanction erring officials.
Sources told THISDAY at the weekend that Jonathan expressed disappointment at the revision of the PHCN privatisation timetable by the National Council on Privatisation through the Bureau of Public Enterprises.
He directed the NCP, which is chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo, to strictly adhere to the new timetable, insisting that a further shift would not be tolerated.
Other issues discussed on the power programme at the economic management meeting included gas supply and infrastructure, the planned presidential retreat on power scheduled for the end of this month, and the new electricity tariff structure expected to take off in June this year.
The BPE, in a revised timetable for the privatisation of the 18 successor companies that were established from PHCN’s unbundling in 2006, shifted the deadline for the conclusion of the privatisation transaction in the power sector from February to October this year.
The BPE announced that the revision of the transaction timetable had become imperative, in order to address concerns raised at the Transaction and Industry Review Conference, held in Abuja between November 28 and 29, 2011.
But sources said the revision did not go down well with the presidency which had viewed the postponement by eight months as being too long, prompting the government to chastise those involved in the process.
“When the BPE announced the shift in the PHCN privatisation timetable which was supposed to have been concluded in February, the president told all parties involved in the process and mostly the NCP that he would not tolerate any further shift in the privatisation timetable by a single day.
“He told them to do whatever it takes to ensure that the process is concluded within the new timetable else, heads will roll.
“He equally reminded them of his passion to hand down an efficient power sector to Nigeria before his tenure elapses and that he would not tolerate the country becoming the laughing stock of the international community for failing to keep to an established timeframe of the process,” a presidency source said.
Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, was also reported to have summoned a meeting of the parties involved in the exercise where he asked for utmost transparency and efficiency in the privatisation of the power utilities, stating that a lot was at stake for Nigeria in the power sector.
Culled from Thisdaylive
- Blackout: Jonathan Fires 3 PHCN Chiefs [Thisdaylive] (transformationwatch.com)
- Canadian company to manage Nigerian power grid (africanleader.net)
- States To Begin Electricity Distribution (transformationwatch.wordpress.com)
- Power privatization schedule announced: Bidding process would be concluded by third quarter of the year – Daily Times (transformationwatch.wordpress.com)
- We’ll replicate Korean miracle in Nigeria – Jonathan (transformationwatch.com)
- Improved electricity supply expected in 3 years – Nnaji (transformationwatch.wordpress.com)