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Egbin, Ikeja, Eko DISCO handed over today

By The Citizen

The Federal Government on Friday handed over Egbin, Ikeja and Eko Electricity Distribution companies in Lagos State to the new investors.

Vice President Namadi Sambo, who handed over the stations, said that the participation of the private sector would bring about higher generation capacity.

Sambo said that the handing over would bring about cost effective power stations and improvement in electricity distribution.

According to him, today's handover concludes the transactions for the four generation companies and 10 distribution companies.

“The challenges facing the electricity sector in Nigeria are enormous, but we are equally convinced that the opportunities in the sector are enormous.

“The Federal Government is committed to create an enabling environment that will sensitise private investors to take on the challenges,'' he said.

Sambo said that the power reform programme had become imperative to improve efficiency, reduce losses and cost.

Represented by Mr Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Sambo reiterated that the reform would lead to increased access to electricity.

“Nevertheless, let me state clearly here that both the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) will continually monitor the operations of the successor companies.

“These agencies will not hesitate to sanction any core investor that does not deliver on the performance agreement with the government,'' Sambo added.

The Chief Executive Officer, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Mr Oladele Amoda, said that the privitisation of the power sector was a good development.

Amoda said the task ahead, no doubt might appear quite intimidating, but with the courage of the first step being taken today, no doubt would succeed.

“We cannot but also congratulate the Federal Government for this landmark achievement.

“What appeared like an impossible task when it began almost a decade ago is today ending on a very happy and hopeful note.

“The transparency of the whole process left no one in doubt about the sincerity of government and its manifest adherence to global best practice,' Amoda said.

The Eko Disco Investor, Mr Charles Momoh, said the company had the responsibility to light up Lagos and keep it, saying: “this is the task before us, which we must do and do profitably''.

According to him, the investor, West Power & Gas, is committed to spending over 250 million dollars (about N38 billion) on the station in the next two years.

“We are going to invest in metering, cleaning up the system, cablings, transformers and making sure that everything is in line with what we have specified.

“It’s not going to be enough, but we will start with that. One-step at a time. Our strategy is to continue to improve the system and eventually we will get there,'' Momoh said.

The other two DISCO-Ikeja Disco and Egbin Power Station - are owned by KEPCO Consortium