Path to electricity sector’s growth, by BPE
Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), has called for more transparency and honesty by stakeholders in the electricity market in Nigeria to foster growth.
Director-General of BPE, Benjamin Dikki, said the absence of the two vital ingredients almost stalled the power privatization in the country and urged all stakeholders to be open in their dealings with one another for the good of the market and the electricity consumers in the country.
Speaking as a Discussant at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC), the Director General who was represented by the Project Manager for Electric Power Privatization in the Bureau, Aloke Amaechi,recalled that due to the lack of openness by some stakeholders, it took almost two years for some vital agreements like the gas documents to be signed before the power privatization was consummated.
He said that prior to the power privatization; a rosy picture was painted by concerned stakeholders that gas supply to the power companies would be solved within the shortest possible time “but to date, the issue is yet to abate as the power companies, especially the generation companies have to grapple with the issue of gas supply”.
To some extent, the power privatization was hinged on the assurances from some of the stakeholders that the issue of gas supply would be tackled headlong and within the shortest time but alas! We are still where we were”, he stated.
The DG decried the dual roles of a gas transporter and gas supplier being played by the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) in the electricity market at present and noted that it was not healthy for the growth of the sector.
He warned that allowing gas to be exorbitantly priced by the suppliers will be detrimental to the development of the electricity market as such cost is passed through to electricity consumers.
Dikki revealed that the completion of the privatization of the Nigeria Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) was being stalled because of among other factors, lack of gas supply; and that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Plc (NBET) cannot sign the Power Purchase Agreements on the plants with investors until the issue of gas is resolved.