Nigerian govt to sell five electricity companies to fund 2023 budget

The Nigerian government says it plans to sell some electricity-generation companies in the country, six months after it announced the restructuring of power distribution companies and privatisation of five power projects.

The government said the sale will take place in the first quarter of 2023 and the proceeds will be used to fund the 2023 budget, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

President Muhammadu Buhari presented a record budget of N20.5 trillion in October for next year with N10.78 trillion not backed by revenue, leaving a budget deficit that is 4.8 per cent of the GDP.

The generating companies of Gencos for sale are Geregu power plant, a 562-megawatt facility in Calabar, Cross River State, and the Olorunsogo power plant.

Alex Okoh, director-general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, told Bloomberg on Thursday that bids for the companies will be opened this month and will close at the end of March.

The power plants are part of the power projects that were shortlisted for privatisation in July.

Since the government handed over authority in 2013, the privately owned businesses have had difficulty supplying electricity.

Nigeria’s power system has mostly remained dysfunctional, producing and distributing an average of 4,000 megawatts to around 200 million people.

READ ALSO: Nigerian governors, minister differ over power sector reforms

The government urged the private sector to invest in electricity to end shortages.

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In a similar development, the National Council on Privatization (NCP) has approved a governance framework for the development of a $3 billion plant in Makurdi, Benue State.

The approval was given at the NCP meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja.

This is expected to be the largest hydropower project in West Africa.

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The project’s development is to adopt a public-private partnership model and the plant is aimed at producing 1,650 megawatts of electricity.

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