Lagos â€” The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has disclosed that Nigeria has in the last two decades invested about $100bn in public enterprises with subsequent transfers to these enterprises amounting to $3bn in 1998, $800m in 1999, $1.4bn in 2000 and $4bn in 2001.
The Director General of the agency ,Mrs Bolanle Onagoruwa, who disclosed this yesterday at the workshop for Labour Writers Association of Nigeria, however regretted that returns over the period were 0.5 percent.
Onagoruwa said the Nigerian economy was losing so much every yearly due to the inefficiency of the public power supply,adding that the consequences of this inefficiency wasborne by the Nigerian worker and the economy as a whole.
“The reform programme for the power sector is designed to substantially reverse the frustrating experience Nigerians have had to endure in service delivery”
The director general disclosed further that BPE had paid the sum of N176.334billion in the last 10years to Nigerian workers whose companies were privatized by the agency.
She said that the payment represented salary arrears and terminal benefits due to the workers between 2000 till date.
She noted that the development was in line with the the policy of the Nigerian Council on Privatisation in 2002 which aimed at ensuring fairness, affordability, efficiency and transparency in resolving lab our issues.
programs, like privatisation, is invariably influenced by the perception of the likely impact of such programs on their welfare”.
The Director General who punctured the position canvassed by the Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees that “if the government is really serious about the sector, it should allow the 25 licensed companies to operate alongside PHCN, like the Nigeria Electricity Supply Company (NESCO.) NESCO has been operating in Nigeria since 1929, generating its own electricity without taking over PHCN”,said that it is not possible for private operators to build their distribution facilities to compete with the extant distribution network of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN.)
“It is important to note that the technology in power generation allows for many participants unlike the technology for transmission and distribution networks. One can set up separate generating plants using any fuel source (hydro, gas, coal, etc) that is economically viable. At any point, you can have many players. Transmission network is such that it is a natural monopoly given that you cannot ask every operator to build its own transmission network. It is uneconomic, not sensible and, in the end, counterproductive”.
Also reacting to the position of the union that since 2005, through the power sector reform, the monopoly of NEPA/PHCN was supposed to have been broken with the unbundling of NEPA into 18 companies to work alongside PHCN and that none of those companies founded by private investors has generated a single megawatt of electricity.”
According to her,the EPSR Act does not provide for the 18 successor companies to work alongside PHCN.
When the companies are privatised, PHCN, which was established as a holding company, will cease to exist ,she said
Speaking on the submission of the union that none of the 20 private power companies issued license by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to generate electricity has added a megawatt of electricity to the national grid,Mrs Onagoruwa explained that the enabling environment has been harsh and unfriendly, especially the tariff regime which she argued has not been encouraging and that since the companies are not charity organisations there is little they could offer presently.
She however appealed to the electricity workers to embrace peace deal being offer them by the federal government so that the sector can move forward.