Calabar, Nigeria — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 18 October 2011 – The government of Nigeria is inching toward full deregulation of the power sector, with 50% of the country’s current electricity supply already being generated by private investors.
Disclosing this in an interview here, commissioner in charge of market competition and rates in the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Eyo Ekpo observed that privatisation of electricity was not a speedy process, hence government was taking its time to ensure that everything was correct and in place.
“Today, approximately 50% of electricity in Nigeria is privately generated by private producers like AES, Shell and Agip. The government is privatising its own generation and bidders have been short-listed,” he confirmed.
“They are undergoing their due diligence and we expect that by the middle of next year that whole process will have been concluded. What is clear is that wherever you see private participation you see more efficiency", Ekpo added.
“The same companies that sell plants to Shell and AES also supply to our Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), but unlike government, theirs are running smoothly “’ the problem has to do with simple efficient management, which the private sector does not lack.”
“Under the Electric Power Policy and the Power Sector Reform Act government will not move completely away from funding investments,” Ekpo assured.
“The government will remain in the transmission sector to continue the task of providing a network to transmit power throughout the country. This is a huge undertaking, and we will therefore remain involved,” he added.