Government, Ministry of Power

CAPACITY BUILDING, AN IMPORTANT TOOL TO TACKLE POST PRIVATIZATION CHALLENGES – WAKIL

Posted: October 3, 2014 at 10:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Hon. Minister of State, Power, Hon. Mohammed Wakil has said that the need for capacity building, as a way of effectively harnessing the gains of the on-going privatisation exercise in the sector cannot be over emphasized, this is against the backdrop of the fact that the power sector is largely driven by technical knowhow and skills.

        He observed that training is key in the acquisition of expertise, this he said must be present as the nation expects nothing but uninterrupted power supply.

Furthermore, the Minister stated that trained manpower will enable the sector remain on track in the quest to deliver on Mr. President’s Transformation Agenda for the power sector.

        He expressed the determination of President Goodluck Jonathan Administration to provide legislative framework, institutional capacity and political will – ingredients necessary for the creating an enabling environment for would-be investors to come into the sector.

Hon. Wakil who spoke today, while receiving a delegation from the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), led by a Lead Economist, Barbara Barungi, stated that the Government, after successfully privatizing its generation and distribution companies, is billed to focus on the formulation of policy and oversight functions, as these assets are now in the hands of private companies.

        Government is aware of the enormity of privatization, especially as it was done in a single swoop, hence it has provided a safe net to absorb the shock through various capacity-building initiatives like effective communication, Data management, Information Technology that would assist in tracking the sector’s activities among others.

        On renewable energy source, Hon. Wakil said that, more than ever before, the Government is poised to address the current imbalance in the energy mix in the country. It has now become a cardinal objective of Government to reduce the seeming over dependence on the national grid, describing it as over-centralisation and incapable of addressing energy needs of rural folks in far-flung communities.

Thus, government will reposition its Rural Electrification Agency for service delivery, he promised that government will do all it can to ensure that REA performs optimally.

        To this end, he called on development partners and donor agencies to come on Board, as the power sector is now cruising like a fast moving train.

        Also speaking at the event, the Power Permanent Secretary, Amb. Godknows Igali said that success in the post-privatization power sector is solely dependent on the ability of the sector to get it right with capacity building.

        While pointing out Government’s priorities for the sector, Igali said that there are areas of need for which African Development Bank’s intervention fund could be channeled to include transmission expansion, Operation Light up Rural Nigeria and most importantly, Capacity Building.

        He said that although Nigeria has accessed part of the facility given to it, by the Bank, because of the stringent conditions, the remaining part cannot be utilized, he therefore pleaded with the AfDB to step-down on some of the conditions.

        Earlier, the leader of the AfDB delegation, Babara Barungi described Nigeria’s power privatization exercise as “a global comprehensive power reform for which the Bank is proud to be associated with”. Little wonder, since the handling of the power assets to private owners, there has been tremendous interest shown by investors from around the world.

        According to her, the Bank’s interest is in the area of developing working models using the platform of Private Public Partnership (PPP), is very urgent, stressing that the Bank will further support other bankable initiatives in the sector.

 

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