Relinquishing key national assets to serious-minded investors is the right approach to privatization and commercialization of public assets, says Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who adds that this is necessary in order to achieve efficiency in service delivery.
Osinbajo stated this on Monday, May 8, at a brief ceremony to formally present the Discharge Certificate to Transcorp Power PLC for the privatization of Ughelli Power Plant PLC.
The ceremony was a prelude to the valedictory meeting of the National Council on Privatization (NCP), chaired by the vice president.
The certificate was presented to Transcorp Power following its compliance with all the deliverables in the Post Acquisition Plan of the Bureau of Public Enterprises for the Ughelli Power Plant.
Speaking about the significance of the event, Osinbajo said “the power needs of our country are grave and we strongly believe that the right approach is the privatization of the power assets to enable serious-minded private sector players to invest in the provision of public power and to ensure that they are efficient and make profit at the same time.”
He noted that “it is good to see public institutions such as ourselves, the NCP, is able to conduct matters from the beginning to the end successfully. Very often, there are hiccups and things have to go from one government to the other trying to resolve particular issues, but this is a very heartwarming occasion.
“What we are doing today is the delisting of Transcorp Power PLC from the routine evaluation and monitoring by the BPE. We hope that this will be the first and not the last in the series of private companies that have taken over power plants and are able to meet the expectations of effective service delivery to Nigerians.”
Applauding the BPE and Transcorp Power PLC for the smooth conclusion of the process, Osinbajo said “the routine evaluation and monitoring by the BPE is an important feature of the Post Acquisition Plan (PAP) and it has covenants and deliverables which the enterprise is supposed to live up to and we understand, in this case that Transcorp Power PLC has done exactly that. They have been able to ensure compliance with all of the deliverables, in some cases, exceeding the covenant and deliverables in the PAP.
“So, this is both an opportunity to commend the management of Transcorp Power PLC, Mr Tony Elumelu and members of the Transcorp Power team, and also to commend the BPE for doing an excellent job of monitoring and being able to come up with, not just a set of criteria, but also an objective means of deciding that we are able today to delist Transcorp Power.
“And also that Transcorp Power is able to deliver power efficiently and it is able to do so even way beyond the expectations of the PAP. We urge the organization to continue in that path and do even better,” he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the BPE Director-General, Dr Alex Okoh said the presentation of the Discharge Certificate to Transcorp Power PLC was a culmination of a process that started in 2013, noting that the company had invested over N80 billion in the plant, significantly improving its generation capacity.
He added that Transcorp Power PLC had met the deliverable and targets contained in the performance agreement signed when the plant was privatized in 2013.
On his part, the CEO of Transcorp Power PLC, Mr Tony Elumelu, thanked the Federal Government for the opportunity to contribute to the country’s power sector, assuring that the company will not disappoint Nigerians and government.
He also disclosed that the company had built a strong indigenization agenda with all its operations managed 100% by Nigerian experts, and added that its plan of growing with the host community was being implemented as schools, hospitals and other social services were being provided by Transcorp Power PLC.
Besides the presentation of Certificate to Transcorp Power PLC, the NCP approved BPE’s request to conclude the sale of 60% equity stake in Abuja Electricity Distribution PLC to Joelan International Limited, the prospective core investor.