Following the successful privatization of Nigeria’s power sector, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, has disclosed that a further $50 billion investment is expected to be pumped into the sector over the next few years.
Speaking at the 2014 Standard Bank West Africa Investors’ Conference in Lagos, on Tuesday, Aganga said that for the first time in Nigeria’s 53 year history, the country successfully handed over its power sector to private firms, which are bringing in capital, technology and operational excellence into the sector.
He noted that the theme of the conference, “Nigeria: Time to Deliver”, is a call to action, a statement of great expectations, an acknowledgement of the great potential across the length and breadth of our country, even as he said that electricity supply has been the bane of businesses in Nigeria, and was left unattended to for many years before the present administration decided to tackle the problem headlong.
His words: “This administration has tackled power supply head on. For the first time in Nigeria’s 53 year history, Nigeria successfully privatized the electric power industry, and is bringing in capital, technology and operational excellence into the sector”.
He added, “As a result, 11 distribution companies and four generation companies have been privatised, for over US$3 billion; other generating plants in the National Integrated Power Projects Programme will also be privatised soon. These electricity assets were physically handed over to private owners on November 1, 2013.
“But privatisation is just the beginning in Nigeria’s power sector, as we now have a pipeline of approximately $50 billion of investments lined up to go into the Nigerian power industry in the next few years”.
The minister added that given the abundant investment opportunities in Nigeria, the country would remain one of the leading high growth and high returns on investment countries globally.
Aganga noted that in order to achieve sustainable inclusive economic growth and diversification; the Federal Government has already embarked on far-reaching sector-specific reforms to address the challenges inhibiting competitiveness of local businesses across all sectors of the Nigerian economy.