Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Power Distribution Timeline Threatened

Photo: Chris Kirchhoff
Beaufort West, Western Cape province: Electricity pylons.

The December 2012 deadline set for the completion of the sale of power distribution companies is currently being threatened. No deadline has been set for winners to pay, barely one month to the end of the year.

The inability of government to fast-track the privatisation process is also taking its toll on power distribution across the country; the federal government has admitted that it transmits less than the 5,000 megawatts of power currently generated.

President Goodluck Jonathan said, during the "Presidential Media Chat" yesterday, that though 5,000MW of power was currently being generated, up from 2,800MW which it inherited, not all of it can be evacuated due to poor transmission and distribution infrastructure.

President Jonathan however assured that, after the completion of the privatisation process, transmission and distribution would pick up.

The president also cleared the air about the reversal of the Manitoba contract, saying it has not been revoked. According to him, some issues were raised as a result of misunderstanding. There was some confusion over the process, he said, which they felt should be rectified to ensure that the contract was in order with all procedures.

He assured that all the relevant authorities had been directed to meet tomorrow to resolve all the differences.

The federal government had said it planned to complete the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) before the end of this year.

However, LEADERSHIP investigations reveal that bid winners for the power distribution companies are yet to commence the payment process, which would enable them to take over the companies they won, an indication that the chances of completing the process this year are very slim.

A source close to the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, who spoke on condition of anonymity told LEADERSHIP that there was still some conditionality to be met by the bid winners before they could commence payment.

"After these have been met, a 25 per cent down payment would be required of them. It is after they have paid the 25 per cent that a deadline would be set for payment of the balance of 75 per cent," our source stated.

Spokesman of the bureau Chukwuma Nwokoh told LEADERSHIP yesterday, "No deadline has been set for the bid winners to pay."

Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited, Vigeo Power Consortium and Interstate Electric Ltd were among the eight companies that came tops in the bids for the 10 power distribution companies (Discos) when the bids were opened last month.

The other companies which also emerged winners during the opening of the financial bids for the PHCN successor distribution companies held in Abuja include Aura Energy Ltd, 4Power Consortium as well as Sahelian Power SPV Ltd.

The result of the bid showed that Integrated Energy, which was the sole bidder for the Yola Disco with 18.58 per cent, also emerged tops in its bids for Eko and Ikeja Discos where it scored 21.43 per cent and 22.51 per cent respectively, while Interstate Electronics came top in the bids for Abuja and Enugu DISCOs with 18.43 per cent and 20.83 per cent respectively.

The others companies are Aura Energy Ltd with 16.22 per cent for Jos Disco, Sahelian Power SPV Ltd with 21.21 per cent for Kano Disco, 4Power Consortium with 19.555 per cent for Port Harcourt Disco and Vigeo Power Consortium with 21.78 per cent for Benin Disco.

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