The Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) on Friday responded to a call on the federal government to reverse the power sector privatisation by the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, saying it was too early to condemn the process as a failure.
The agency which was responsible for the power sector privatisation in 2013, also disclosed that the federal government will soon shed its 40 per cent stake in the power firms to allow other private investors buy into the power assets.
Speaking when he kicked off the roll-out of large power users’ – LPU meters (which the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company AEDC procured for deployment to its about 4000 maximum demand customers), the acting Director General of BPE, Dr. Vincent Akpotaire said Dangote’s call for a reversal of the privatisation exercise was unnecessary.
Akpotaire said the agreement signed with the investors upon their acquisition of the power assets allows that they take at least five years to invest in and stabilise their networks. He explained that based on that, Dangote’s claim of the exercise’s failure was not factual.
He spoke to reporters shortly after he commissioned one of the LPU meters at the Abuja Archives and History Bureau.
“My take is that we need to evaluate statements before we make them. That is the point I think we should put across to Nigerians. We have put only about three years since the handover of the power sector to private investors. Before that, the power sector had existed for well over 50 years and in those 50 years, hardly much was achieved due to several factors and the decision to privatize was a well thought-out decision,” Akpotaire said.
He further stated: “In three years, the measurement of their performance is based on a five year index which is in their agreements and that measurement is not dependent only on the activities of the private investors alone but also on the tariff structure.
“You are all aware of controversies the tariff has thrown up and because of that, there is now a scale back in reviewing of the tariffs. One segment of the review has just been lost and for every review not done, there is a gap in the funding.”
He explained: “In terms of rating, our approach is not to determine what should be the pass mark but to consider whether the issues of reduction of losses has been met, as of today we are just starting.”