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PHCN Privatisation: Nigerians express hope for better days

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By Ediri EJOH & Jonah NWOKPOKU

As the privatisation process for the power sector is about to be concluded, a cross section of Nigerians expressed the hope for brighter days ahead. Some, who spoke to Sweetcrude, said they believe the privatisation of the sector would nip the problem of power in the bud.

Solomon Louis, Trader said, “I believe that privatization will solve our problem. This is because infrastructure like power can only thrive in the hands of the private sector. This privatization will lead to competition among the operators which will in turn lead to efficiency in the system, just like we have in the telecommunications sector now. The market forces are deciding the pace and efficiency we are seeing in that sector now, and I think we are going to see that in the power sector too, once privatised.

“The new companies, if they are competent enough, should be able to deal with the problem of power generation and distribution once and for all.”

For Ernest Eleodinmuo, Electronic engineer, “The privatisation may not solve all our problems, but it will help to save the end users from unnecessary and unfair billings. Because, when they privatise now, they will use the card system, which will only be effective when power has been supplied and consumed,” he said.

“Privatisation may not completely solve the problem of epileptic in the power supply, but it should considerably solve the problem of transmission. If they are able to achieve complete privatization, that is, from generation to distribution, then electricity output will surely improve because no one wants to invest money and lose it.

“The buyers would ensure they generate enough power so as to be able to make enough profit. And that will result to efficiency in the near future and all these power problems will cease,” he added.

On his part, a banker with United Bank for Africa, who pleaded anonymity maintained that total privatization would be the best thing that can happen to the power sector.

According to him, “Government should have declared state of emergency in the power sector long before now, but I think the privatization is the greatest successful achievement so far recorded in that sector. We are hoping that the privatisation will bring about efficiency not only in billing, but also in power supply.

“This is because, when you spend billions on licensing and equipment as an entrepreneur, you will ensure that it works and used adequately otherwise you would run at a loss, which every private organization cannot afford. So I strongly believe the system without doubt will bring some kind of stability into the system.”

For Nneka Azuka, An entrepreneur manager, if not for anything else, the privatization will solve the problems relating to billing.

“I strongly believe that this privatization will bring solutions to the complex issues in the billing system. The fraudulent nature of PHCN when operating was a difficult one despite government handling it. At least with this privatisation, we can be certain to level that more difficult time does not await Nigerians once the sector is privatized,” she said.

She however noted that, “Power stability is still dependent on sincerity of the operator, be it government or private. If the buyers are not sincere about solving the problem of the epileptic power in Nigeria, there is little anyone can do about it,” she added.

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