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NIPPs privatization:FG Says 2012 Is Deadline

The Federal Government has assured that despite the noticeable bottlenecks in the ongoing privatisation of public enterprises, the deadline of 2012 for privatization of all National Independent Power Projects (NIPPs), currently under construction across the country would be met.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, gave the assurance while talking to newsmen in New York, where he accompanied President Goodluck Jonathan to the 66th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He disclosed that the government’s decision to privatize the NIPPs was to achieve efficiency in the power sector.

The NIPPs are Ihovbor Power Station Benin, Edo State, with the capacity of 4 x 125MW; Calabar Power Station, Cross River State with the capacity of 5 x 125MW; Egbema Power Station, Imo State with the capacity of 3 x 125MW; Gbarain Power Station, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State with the capacity of 2 x 125MW and Sapele Power Station, Delta State with the capacity of 4 x 125MW. Other NIPPs slated for privatization are Olorunsogo, Geregu, Alaoji, Omoku and Omotosho.

According to him, because of the gross inefficiency in the system and the need to create a very robust power sector, all the NIPPs would have been privatized by this time next year. Nnaji regretted that distribution companies in the country were not able to break-even because of the high level of corruption in the system and vowed to reverse the trend. He said: “PHCN is run like a welfare programme. The privatization programme will be the solution. It will create efficiency because right now, we are totally inefficiency in running power in this country.”

Nnaji said he was not unaware of issues of graft in the sector and vowed to root out corruption using all available means to achieve his aims. “I want to wipe out corruption in the power sector. The corruption there may be at two levels; the level of top public officials and workers. The main reason people are fighting me is because they know that I want to stop corruption in the power sector and not because they don’t like my face.

Corruption is the root of why we are not making progress in the power sector and I am determined to root it out. Government will play its role to make sure that power is available to Nigerians,” he said.

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