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Nigeria Sold Ageing, Unserviced Assets in 2013 – Fashola

Nigeria in 2013, handed over ageing, unserviced electricity generation and distribution assets to private investors who participated in the country’s power sector privatisation exercise that year, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said on Thursday in Abuja.

Fashola, who has had running battles with operators of the generation and distribution assets – especially the distribution companies (Discos), over reports of operational underperformance amongst others, told an audience at the Punuka Annual Lecture Series, that Nigeria adopted power privatisation models from Europe but handed over rundown assets to investors.

He also stated at the annual lecture series organised by Punuka Attorneys and Solicitors as its corporate social responsibility (CSR), that most Nigerians were either unaware of this sad realities in the sector, or chose to ignore them.

“In this sector, one area of difference between our privatisation model and what I know of the European models is that the assets were privatised as on-going and functional undertakings requiring only private sector managerial models to optimise commercial value.

“In our case the assets sold were not viable on-going concerns, they were in many cases ageing, de-rated and unserviced assets; and the service was disappointing. This is what led us to privatisation,” said Fashola.

He then explained: “The difference is that our model requires more private capital injection to achieve reliable service while capital injection in the EU will improve already reliable service.”

By Chineme Okafor

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