Nigerian
commissioner for
energy Maxwell Oko
 
Doha, Qatar — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 05 January 2012 – Bayelsa State government is planning to withdraw from the Nigerian national power grid, and to offer huge incentives “’ including land and equity partnership “’ to foreign entities willing to invest in the state.

Revealing this to newsmen here, commissioner for energy Maxwell Oko explained that the planned pull-out was due to the Bayelsa government’s ownership of over 98% of infrastructure used in power distribution in the state. He also assured the investors that the electricity to be generated by Bayelsa would be highly subsidised.

“Bayelsa is the only state without national power, and we own about 98% of our power infrastructure. So in a couple of months from now, we will do a total pull-out from the national grid because the power infrastructure belongs to us,” he added.

According to Oko, the state had written to the presidency and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), informing them of its intention to have complete control of its power, since there is no Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) facility in Bayelsa to be privatised.

Earlier, secretary to the state government (SSG) Gideon Ekeuwei assured would-be investors of huge incentives including tax holidays, land, and equity partnership.

He said: “As you know, Bayelsa is still very young: we will provide free land to investors. We will also offer 24-hour electricity supply from our independent power plant, we will offer security support for investments, and we are also prepared to share risks with investors through equity participation. We are equally prepared to give tax incentives to investors,” he added.

With regard to infrastructure availability, Ekeuwei revealed that the state had embarked on massive infrastructure development, including what he described as first class health facilities to open up the state for fresh investments.

He noted that the equity participation would be even, but would be backed up with funds, saying, “we are very willing to partner with investors on any project by taking up equities and we will pay for them.”