The Federal Government of Nigeria is considering selling the multi-billion dollar assets of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) once the appropriate investment propositions that would support the action are in place.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this during a technical session of the just-concluded power conference in Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Fashola argued that aggregation or collection of investments facts or opinions is vital to the sale of the assets of transmission company.
According to him, “The debate about selling the assets of the National Transmission Company should be rational and not emotional. There is a need to find out whether TCN has achieved efficient service delivery or not? Has the three-year transition deadline given TCN to improve its operation matured or not? I think our energy, as a nation, must be focused on those areas, if we want to show to the world that privatisation of TCN’s assets is the way to go.
He added, “It is not the practice of a nation to sell everything it has. What I have learnt is that there are no regulations that specify what we must keep as assets as a nation. In whatever we do, we are trying to provide some levels of control. By this, we are trying to be security conscious so that we are not vulnerable to the entire electricity market.”
The minister said countries, such as China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico, were yet to do what Nigeria did in the selling assets in key value chains, such as the generation and distribution segments of the power sector.
Fashola said there was no power company in the world that could achieve 100 percent collections in tariff, adding that the only thing an energy company could do was to reduce its losses to the lowest minimum level.
He further said that debts in the form of electricity owed by consumers are a continuum because people consume power daily.
However, he urged electricity consumers to pay their bills on time to enable the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) meet their obligations to them.
Fashola explained that the electricity distribution companies, (DisCos), get their money from the power they distribute to consumers and further pay the power generation companies (GenCos) for supplying them electricity.
Recall that the issue of selling the nation’s transmission assets came up in 2014 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The issue resurfaced two weeks ago as stakeholders in the power sector, advised President Muhammad Buhari, to consider selling the assets of TCN to generate money to finance public expenditures.