Abuja — The Federal Government on Friday handed over the Abuja Distribution Company Plc (DISCO) to its new owner, KANN Consortium Utility Company Ltd.
Vice President Namadi Sambo, who handed over the DISCO, said that the event was to formally hand over the physical assets of the old PHCN to their new owners.
Sambo, who is also the Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), said that the assets were the property
of five Generation Companies and 11 Distribution Companies.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, represented Sambo at the occasion.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the privatised generating companies are Geregu Power Plc, Ughelli Power Plc, Egbin Power Plc, Kainji Hydro Electric Plc and and Shiroro Hydro Electric Power Plc.
The 10 privatised Distribution Companies (Disco) are located in Abuja, Benin, Eko, Ibadan, Ikeja, Jos, Kano, Port-Harcourt, Yola and Enugu.
Sambo noted that the successful handover was made possible by President Goodluck Jonathan's unparalleled leadership and commitment to ensure that there was provision of stable power by the present administration to people.
He said that the event was taking place simultaneously at the headquarters of the state capitals across the country.
Sambo explained that the handover was borne out 14 years of painstaking efforts by NCP and the Bureau of Public Enterprises.
He noted that Nigeria would not attain its desired economic growth without adequate power supply, adding that this informed the power sector reforms.
Sambo said that the critical programme began in 1999 with the inauguration of the Electricity Power Implementation Committee which led to the development of the National Electricity Power Policy of 2001.
He explained that the enactment of the Electricity Power Sector Reforms Act of 2005, and the establishment of PHCN were to reinforce the repeal of the defunct NEPA Act.
Sambo said that the new Act made it possible to create 18 companies by unbundling PHCN into three categories namely generation six companies, transmission one company and the distribution 11 companies.
He said that 2005 Act changed the legal and regulatory environment for the power sector in Nigeria and sought to create a sustainable electricity supply industry to the country.
According to the Vice President, the reform is a necessary tool for laying a solid foundation for sustainable power generation and service efficiency in the sector.
Sambo said that the opening of the industry to private hands would create job opportunities, improve efficiency also engender private sector investment among others.
He said that the challenges facing the sector were enormous as well as its benefits, noting that government would create enabling environment that would suit the investors.
Earlier, Alhaji Shehu Malami, the Chairman of Board of Directors of KANN Consortium Ltd., called on Nigerians and all stakeholders in the industry to exercise patience for the new successor companies.
NAN reports that so far, out of the 16 successor companies scheduled for handover, a total of 2.5 billion dollars was realised as proceeds.
The Sapele Generation Company was not affected by the exercise because the NCP directed its legal committee to undertake a comprehensive legal review of the status of the company.
This was as a result of the preferred bidders failure to complete payment for the company.