TRANSCORP Turns UGHELLI Power Plant Around, Now Produces 610MW Daily
The recent privatization of the power sector has started to yield fruits. Success stories are being recorded in several of the privatized power assets. In a recent full-page article published in THISDAY Newspaper, Mr Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holding, the new owners of Transcorp Ughelli Power Ltd., stated that the plant has expanded generation output from 115MW as at November 2013 Handover to 610 MW per day currently, after only 16 months of private ownership.
According to Elumelu, who said that he is very optimistic about Africa and its future, this is a practical demonstration of how private sector management can be more efficient and effective in delivering even critical services to the people.
It would be recalled that the new owners of Egbin Power plant recently reactivated a 220MW unit which has been off circuit for over two decades making it to deliver the station’s full capacity of 1320MW to the National Grid if gas supply was adequate. An elated President Goodluck Jonathan was on hand early March to commission the newly re-constructed turbine.
In the article, Mr Elumelu also discussed the President Obama desire to boost industrial development and employment by increasing accessible power in the Sub-Saharan Africa with 30,000MW through the Power African Initiative which investors like Heirs Holding and others keyed into to facilitate local participation and achievement of the laudable objective.
The potential we have long imagined for Nigeria is now becoming a reality, he submitted. The economic management of Nigeria has improved over the last decade and our leaders are asking more of themselves and their colleagues in and out of government. Also the private sector is more self-assured and confident about the new economic policies that have led to steady growth in the past decade. For this reason the private sector players have demonstrated a greater willingness to partner the government so as to help underpin Nigeria’s growth and prosperity.
As if advising the Nigerian President –Elect and other governments in Africa, Mr Elumelu said he believes that a proper role of government is to support economic expansion, but in the end, the driving of the economy must be led by the private sector. This is best achieved when governments enact growth-enabling policies in critical sectors like housing, agriculture, power, infrastructure, manufacturing and finance.
He was quick to add that he recognises that the people cannot demand slimmed down and efficient governments if the private sector was reluctant to step up and take more responsibility.
Advocating that the public and private sectors can and should work together to maximise the scope for a brighter and more prosperous Africa, he suggested that both sector players need to do more, especially in the area of entrepreneurship, if the drive is really to unlock the investment and creative potentials of our people especially the young ones.
Of course, he stressed that none of the investment and development opportunities can be realised without good governance, political stability, and governments that work to support the private sector in innovative and practical ways. The creation of jobs, social wealth and a higher quality of life for all Africans depend on confidence in our public institutions. With elections over in Nigeria, we hope to see a renewed pursuit of strong and inclusive economic growth led by Nigeria’s own entrepreneurs.
In concluding the article, Mr Tony Elumelu submitted that the African private sector has a unique ability to drive economic growth and social wealth by pursuing long-term investments in key sectors. But to succeed – and I cannot emphasise this enough – the private sector needs good and stable governments that are accountable and supportive across Africa.