THE Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Dikki, on Wednesday said that about N300 million has been approved for the infrastructure development needs of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Dikki made the disclosure in an address at the post-monitoring of IKeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) activities in Lagos.
He reassured Nigerians that the challenges facing the nation’s power supply would soon become a thing of the past.
The director-general said the Federal Government provided the N300 million to TCN from its one billion Euro-bond dedicated for the improvement of the nation’s infrastructure.
According to him, government has also channelled the loan received from African Development Bank (AfDB) to TCN.
He said that currently, funding was not the major challenge of TCN but the process of identifying projects to be executed with the fund.
“All the money they have is sufficient to complete the ongoing rehabilitation but all they need now is to use the fund provided to them effectively on projects rehabilitation before providing additional fund.
“TCN has advertised some of the rehabilitation projects to ensure effective evacuation of energy to distribution companies.
“Government has also identified other areas of financing projects for effective distribution through Independent Power Projects (IPP) projects.
“Quite a number of IPPs have been completed and will improve power supply to the national grid,” he said.
Dikki also lauded IKEDC over post-privatisation transformation of human capital in the company.
He said that eight months after official handing over of the power sector to the private sector, IKEDC had shown tremendous improvement in areas of customer service delivery and equipment upgrading.
According to him, he is indeed impressed with the transformation witnessed at the IKEDC after eight months of handing over to private sector.
“It is also a symbol of change that indicates operational difference between government-owned company and private-sector driven one.
“Within eight months of taking over the DISCO, quality service and effective goals have been established which makes it a business.
“We are delighted that all abandoned projects have been brought into operational use because those facilities will go a long way in boosting power supply.
“Today, we are happy to see the difference between government and private-driven business in the power sector,” he said.
Dikki said that the post-privatisation monitoring exercise was to identify areas in which government can be of assistance to the DISCOs and re-assured them of government support.
“Government still owns 40 per cent stake in the business, this to ascertain where the sector is today and to ensure adequate provision from the government to enhance the operation of the DISCOs,” he said.
He said that President Goodluck Jonathan had been at the vanguard of ensuring that the private sector strove to become the engine of the Nigeria economy.
“As a policy, the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) is to assess what is on ground to ensure effective improvement of power supply to the masses.
“Government has achieved effective and adequate privatisation of the power sector which has never happened in the history of the country.
“We are here and we are happy with what we are seeing, Ikeja DISCO is a clear example of the privitatisation process.
“Ikeja DISCO has shown good initiative towards effective customer service delivery and prompt response to complaints which has detached it from the past when the DISCO was in the hand of the government.
“The establishment of the centre is a clear indication of effective private sector-driven company,” he said.
Dikki urged the management of IKEDC to embark on sensitation programme that would educate customers on power sector value chain in energy distribution process.
Also speaking, Abiodun Ajifowobaje, the Chief Executive Officer, IKEDC, said that energy had been a major challenge to the company.
Ajifowobaje said that over N1 billion had been spent on various projects within the company, adding that the company only got about 345 mega watts as against 1,257 mega watts maximum demand.
“We have installed and completed all rehabilitated transformers and pending projects within the company.
“We are planning to engage in other sources of power supply through embedded generation and others”.