New owners take over PHCN
The Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, has told Nigerians to expect improved electricity supply in the next few months as the new owners of the privatised successor companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, commence operations.
The Director General of the privatisation agency, Benjamin Dikki, said, with the handing over of the privatised power generation and distribution companies by government, it is expected that a maintenance culture, which would ensure uninterrupted operations, would be introduced.
Mr. Dikki said maintaining the facilities effectively would entail the importation of spare parts to replace and refurbish the moribund components of the power plants.
Indications are that the power generation and distribution companies would spend about $357.7 million (about N56.16 billion) this year to procure equipments and spare parts needed to carry out their operations.
The Director General, who was reviewing the achievements of the agency under the federal government’s privatisation programme in Abuja, said it was able to realise a major mandate as part of the ongoing reforms in the various sectors of the economy.
He said BPE has helped in creating an enabling environment for private sector investments by instituting sound sectors policies;
liberalisation of the sectors by abrogating monopoly laws; delineation of the roles of policy formulation from regulation and operations; establishment of appropriate legal and regulatory framework; mitigation of risks to encourage private sector investments; and setting up of independent regulatory agencies to oversee the sectors.
Mr. Dikki noted the BPE’s achievements to include championing the reforms in the telecommunications sector, which has revolutionalised the country’s telecom sector with the enactment of the Telecom Act of 2003.
These efforts, he said, led to the licensing of several service providers in the sector, resulting in the creation of many new jobs and an astronomical growth from a tele-density of 0.4 per cent, representing 450,000 telephone lines in 2001 to 82 per cent, representing 123 million telephone lines as at June 2013.
He noted that BPE had midwifed the enactment of the Pension Reform Act of 2004, which led to the establishment of the National Pension Commission, NPC, that helped entrench a stable pension policy in Nigeria. With the arrangement, he said, retirees were now certain that they would get paid their entitlements on retirement, a development that has so far created over N3 trillion long-term investable funds for infrastructure development, if the restrictions of the law were relaxed.
Mr. Dikki explained that the establishment of the Debt Management Office, DMO, was one of the outcomes of the reform undertaken by the Bureau to curb arbitrary borrowing by public enterprises and government agencies.
Other achievements of the bureau, he said, included the primary benefits of the Ports Reforms on the economy which had led to, among others, faster ship, truck and cargo turn-around times; use of larger ships; increased port utilisation efficiency; lower port operating costs and opportunities for inland distribution by rail.
He also identified the secondary benefits to include increased competition, lower port charges, lower freight rates, increased private sector investments, labour force improvements, and net financial transfers to the government.
To sustain the gains of past reforms, the head of the privatisation bureau listed seven critical bills targeted for passage into Law, which have been approved by the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, for presentation to the Federal Executive Council, FEC. They include the Railway Bill, Inland Waterways Bill, Road Sector Reform Bill, National Transport Commission Bill, Ports & Harbour Reform Bill, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill, and Postal Bill.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...