By KUNLE KALEJAYE
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has revealed that the privatization of the Power Holding Company, PHCN, is on course, adding that negotiations were ongoing to address workers welfare with the various unions.
The Director General of the BPE, Ms Bolanle Onagoruwa, said that the Federal Government is concerned about the welfare of workers, which explains its unceasing engagements with the unions.
Onagoruwa added that the ultimate goal of the privatization body is to resolve all labor issues before it handed over to any of the successful bidders.
She made the remarks recently at a two-day Electric Power Sector Transaction and Industry Review Conference, organized by the BPE in collaboration with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), in Abuja.
“In the last few of months, series of activities have been embarked upon in the process of the privatization of PHCN successor companies starting with the issuance of bid documents to the recent site visits to the successor companies by investors,” she noted.
The BPE boss explained that the main reason for the conference is to interact with investors and aggregate their opinions on the transaction structure and process.
According to her, “It is our wish in collaboration with bidders, to fast-track the reform agenda and this can only be done if we are provided with your genuine concerns and objective comments so that we can enrich the transaction and ensure its conclusion.”
Onagoruwa noted that given the large investments to be made in power transmission and distribution, the Federal Government cannot accommodate the costs alone. Thus, there is the “need to incentivise the private sector to partner with the Federal Government in this endeavour.”
She added that the establishment of the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company, which is saddled with the responsibility of procurement and sale of power in the sector, will alleviate the fears of prospective power vendors.