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‘BPE’s stand on Discos makes it accomplice in their poor performances’

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Industry experts have picked deep holes in what they describe as the strange of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in opposing the reversal of the privatisation of the country’s power sector.

Before now, every stakeholder in Nigeria’s power project including government officials have been calling for a reversal review of the 2013 unbundling of the hitherto Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) into three market segment which produced Gencos, Discos and leaving transmission in the hands of the government based on its security implications.

In his lead argument, Dr Ken Igboanugo recalled that “It would be recalled that at have we seen today; darkness and surreptitious the time of the privatisation of electricity distribution companies, they all signed the document to invest and upgrade available infrastructures to grow the nation’s power availability.

“But what are we seeing today; collapse of systems, poor power supplies and epilepsy nationwide.

According to him, “For the BPE to come out and say that government should rather give helping hands to bid winners means that it originally gave out the bids to companies that will fail, hence the leadership of the BPE should be sacked and tried for treason and economic sabotage after all.

Also commenting, several electricity consumers in Ikeja area of Lagos called for the resignation of the Director General of the BPE on grounds of undue favour to failed concessionaires in the Nigerian power project.

Business Hilights gathered that the Alex Okoh led BPE in an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, argued that‘re-nationalisation’ of the power sector would be a ‘fundamental error’.

The BPE boss, who identified implementation of the design of the reform of the power sector and the dynamics of retailing power as the major challenges also proposed the introduction of subsidy on tariffs.

On the planned review of the privatisation, as well as calls for recapitalisation of the Discos, Okoh said, “Recapitalising the Discos, will it solve the problem? Maybe, maybe not.

“But what I will not advocate as an individual is the re-nationalisation of the power sector.

“If we are able to determine that there is certain level of capital expenditure that is necessary to improve the distribution infrastructure, let us logically determine what that investment is and look at the best way to provide that investment for the distribution end of the power chain and not to re-nationalise the power sector.

“It will be a fundamental error if we go in that direction.”

According to him, “The problem is not the privatisation of the Discos or the entire power value chain.

“The problem is the implementation of the design of the reform of the power sector.

“We have problems with Discos; we don’t have problems with Gencos,” Okoh averred.

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