BPE mulls sale of transmission company


Alex Okoh, the director-general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), says the agency is looking at a suitable model to unbundle the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

Okoh stated this on Thursday during a webinar tagged, “Financing Public-Private Partnership to Boost Infrastructure Delivery in Nigeria,” chaired by Ahmed Zainab, minister of finance, budget and national planning, and monitored by TheCable.

In 2013, Nigeria privatised the power sector with the distribution (DisCos) and generation (GenCos) sub-sectors sold to core investors.

Nigeria has 13,000 megawatts of installed electricity-production capacity, only about 4,500 megawatts is dispatched to the grid daily, in part because of dilapidated transmission infrastructure.

“Currently, we are looking at various strategies at reforming TCN. That’s the only segment of the power value chain yet to be reform by BPE. We have privatised or reform generation and the PHCN legacy on generation companies and downstream privatisation.”

Okoh said the BPE is considering unbundling TCN operation into components — operator and business sides.

“These are the models we are looking at, in strong collaboration with the minister of power. The next stage is the unbundling of the system itself…on whether to unbundle along regional lines or business disco franchise area. Very soon, we will approach the council on privatisation on what best works,” he added.

Despite admitting government mistakes during the privatisation of the power sector, Usman Mohammed, former managing director of TCN, had cautioned against reclaiming the DisCos because this would send a wrong signal to foreign investors.

In her remarks, Zainab Ahmed said the government is ready and willing to dialogue and inculcate viable suggestions from stakeholders.

“The webinar is to hear directly from you (stakeholders) on what areas government can invest in and deliver value for money.

“President Buhari is committed to developing the country’s infrastructure and urging local and foreign investors to invest in Bureau of Public Procurement projects in Nigeria.”

The TCN one of the 18 companies unbundled from Nigeria’s defunct Power Holding Company (PHCN), manages the electricity transmission network.

It is presently wholly owned and operated by the government, and its activities include electricity transmission, system operation and electricity trading.

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