I Sympathise With Power Sector Pessimists – Dikki
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Dikki, has expressed confidence that the handover of Nigeria’s power sector to investors will yield desired results, but extended his sympathy to those who do not believe so.
“I sympathise with those who are pessimistic. All I can tell them is: just wait and see what’s going to happen.”
Mr Dikki who was speaking on Sunrise Daily, from our Abuja studio described the handover as “a historic process.”
Making an example of the privatised Telecoms sector, he stated that the progress witnessed in that sector will pave way for Nigerians to appreciate the handover of PHCN to private investors.
“We have to look at what has happened via the reform of the telecom sector for us to appreciate the magnitude of what is happening and what will happen in the power sector,” he said, “once you hand over a sector to the private sector and create an enabling environment, you would see a revolution in that sector.”
“We are looking out for a revolution in the power sector,” he said.
Speaking about the defunct PHCN, Mr Dikki explained that the separation of power generation from power distribution would correct the inconsistencies which marred the former system, that amounted to loss of revenue and power.
The power generating companies will sell to the distribution companies who will in turn sell to the end users.
“This has introduced transparency in the power value chain. Revenues that are expected to be collected will be collected because this is now business” and those who invested, expect to make returns, Mr Dikki stated.
The handover will also unburden the Federal Government of any financial obligations as the private investors are expected to pump in funds in order to meet up with the demand for electricity.
“Government is now being free from the responsibility of financing and budgeting for the 14 companies handed over to private investors.”
He countered arguments that the total privatization of the power sector would pose security issues stating that similar things were said when the telecoms sector was to be privatized.
However, he assured that “government is not going to go out of power immediately” and the “proceeds from the NIPP plant (National Independent Power Project) will be ploughed back into other sources of energy: hydro, renewable energy and solar.”
An independent regulatory agency, Nigerian Electricity regulatory Commission (NERC) which he described as the ‘policeman of the sector’ will ensure that the investors follow the laid down guidelines and tariff structure.
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