Nigeria unveils plan to privatize ten gas-fired power plants

Source:Niger Delta Power Holding Company

The Nigerian Government confirmed its intention to privatise ten gas-fired power stations across the country as part of its effort to guarantee an effective and sustainable power supply for the people of Nigeria. This unique investment opportunity was announced at an Investor Relations Event held at The Sofitel Hotel, New York City.

The power stations are located in Abia State (450 MW), Edo State (451 MW), Cross River State (562 MW), Imo State (338 MW), Bayelsa State (225 MW), Kogi State (434 MW), Delta State (451 MW), Ogun State (676 MW), Rivers State (225 MW) and Ondo State (451 MW).

James Abiodun Olutu, Managing Director and CEO of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), said,"Eighty percent of shares in the ten power plants are to be sold to investors providing an opportunity for growth as demand far outstrips current supply."

Speaking at the Event, the Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, said,"This New York event is the last stage of the international investment drive for the divestment of government stakes in the generation assets of the NDPHC.

"To provide you some background as to how we got here, two important tools that led to the reforms of the sector, the Nigerian Electric Power Policy (2001) and the subsequent Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 were products of about five years' work by sterling experts in the field of electricity and utility reforms. The Act was a necessary foundation for charting a new course for a sector that had delivered far below the most liberal expectations of Nigerians.

"Privatization of all public generation and distribution companies is one of the pillars of the efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to reform the power sector. The recent privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria successor electricity distribution and generation companies is a testament to the commitment of the FGN to the reform process."

He added that this privatisation offered international investors an opportunity to be a part of a great economic revolution comparable to that of the telecommunications sector in Nigeria.

In answer to questions about transparency and security the Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Gbenga Obadara said, "We will provide security for your investment in Nigeria and we are giving enough assurance of opportunities to investors in the country. Investors have been expressing interest in the 10 gas-fired power plants with a combined design capacity in excess of 5,453 megawatt. 53 percent of the NDPHC plants is owned by states and the local governments, while the Federal Government owns the remaining 47 percent."

The determination to ensure sale of the power plants has led to a series of policy reforms and incentives such as Tax holiday and exemptions, pioneer status, reparation of profits, research and development as well as low value added tax which is the lowest in the world. The panel of speakers gave assurances that the process of sales would be transparent and open and would support the people of Nigeria.

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