Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, in Abuja, said it would take “serious” private sector investment in Nigeria’s power sector to meet the country’s rising energy needs.
Osinbajo made the observation when he presented the discharge certificate to the Chairman of Transcorp Ughelli Power Limited, the core investor in the Ughelli Power Plant, Mr Tony Elumelu.
The discharge came one month after the National Council on Privatisation approved the recommendations of the Bureau of Public Enterprise that Ughelli Power Plc be delisted from routine monitoring, having satisfied five core post-acquisition requirements, namely: available capacity, capital expenditure, human resources, health, safety and environment and corporate social responsibility.
Commissioned in 1966 with an installed capacity of 972MW, the Ughelli Power Plant, whose capacity had dropped to 300MW, became an asset of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc in 2013 under the company’s power subsidiary, Transcorp Ughelli Power Limited.
Osinbajo commended the management of Transcorp Power, urging the company to “continue in that path and to do even better.”
On his part, the BPE Director-General, Alex Okoh, explained the discharge certificate became necessary after an evaluation showed that UPP’s generation capacity under Trancorp Power grew by 227 per cent in a decade.
“The company has achieved an available capacity of 680.8 megawatts, which surpasses the minimum performance target of 670 megawatts. Capital expenditure totaling N58.6bn was the covenant established for phases one and two of the post-acquisition plan, while actual investments made by the current investor were in the sum of N83.85bn. All the agreed benchmarks on human resources, health, safety and environment and corporate social responsibility have also been achieved.
In his remarks, Elumelu said the company’s indigenisation plan has ensured that the Power Plant is managed and run by Nigerians alone.
“Mr Vice President, let me also say that in addition to the criteria set, we actually are doing a very strong indigenisation of Transcorp Power Plc. I’m proud to say that our power plant is managed and operated 100 percent by Nigerians.