21 February 2013, Abuja Lagos – President Goodluck Jonathan’s commitment to ‘move Nigeria from darkness to light’ was one step closer to being realized today at the official signing ceremony held by the BPE for the winning bidders of the privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
The ceremony was held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja and was presided over by Minister of Power Professor Chinedu Nebo. In attendance were representatives from the five generating and 10 distribution companies, including Transcorp, who successfully bid for the Ughelli power plant in the Delta. The winning companies were whittled down from over 300 interested parties in a process which the Director General of the BPE Benjamin Dikki said, “matched and exceeded international best practice.”
Dikki went on to applaud the high quality of investors, saying, “All the firms that went through this rigorous privatisation process and emerged as the preferred bidders should be congratulated. Nigerians can start to smile.”
Applauding the government on its achievement, Chairman of Transcorp, Tony O Elumelu said, “The government has declared ‘let there be light…and there will be. This is a significant milestone in Nigeria’s journey to economic development and social wealth for all. It shows how the public and private sector can work together to solve the most pressing issue facing the country. The government has delivered on its promise to let the private sector in. All interests are now aligned and Nigerians will soon begin to feel the effects. This is Africapitalism in action.”
On Transcorp’s involvement, Elumelu said, “We are active investors, with a track record of delivery in the turn-around of businesses. We have already started the process at Ughelli. We have our turn-around strategy in place, our US based partners Symbion Power and GE are on board, and within the next decade we will facilitate the generation of 10,000MW of additional power to Nigerian households.”
All speakers at today’s event agreed that the implications of the ceremony were far reaching. A thriving power sector will impact directly on the country’s economic growth, its competitiveness, foreign investment, job creation, productivity and the delivery of social services.