NDPHC Blames Power Sector’s Under-performance on Improper Execution of BPE, World Bank’s Privatisation Template

* Osinbajo, Oyedele bag UNILAG’s alumni awards 

Peter Uzoho

The Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services, Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC), Mr. Ifeoluwa Oyedele, has attributed the persistent underperformance and crisis rocking the Nigerian power sector to the failure of the past administration to properly executive the sector’s privatisation programme in line with the template offered by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) and the World Bank.

The NDPHC Executive Director stated this in Lagos, at the weekend, during an interview with journalists at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) 2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards and 60th Anniversary Dinner, where the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and him were honoured with distinguished awards.
While Osinbajo was honoured with the Diamond Jubilee Distinguished Alumnus award, Oyedele was conferred with the Distinguished Alumnus award along with eight others including the wife of Kwara State Governor, Mrs. Olufolake Abdulrazaq; wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu; and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Senator Kanu Agabi, amongst others.

The vice president’s award was received on his behalf by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Oyedele, who stated that the failure to properly implement the privatisation policy is now hurting the country and that the sector is currently challenged by lots of disjoints in the system currently being operated, added that he was one of those that believe that the privatisation was not properly done.

Since the privatisation of the generation and distribution chains of the nation’s power sector some nine years ago, with the transmission arm still left 100 per cent in the hand of the federal government, Nigerians have not witnessed any remarkable improvement in power supply.
With a population of over 200 million people and in its 62 years of existence as an independent nation, Nigeria cannot boast of providing commensurate volume of electricity to homes and businesses.

Due to the incapability of the generation, transmission and distribution value chains of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), Nigeria currently struggles or manages to supply about 4000 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the people, with the national grid collapsing almost on a monthly basis.
“I think the problem is that over the years, we didn’t do what we were supposed to have done and that is hurting us now. I’m one of those who think that the privatisation, though well intended, was not properly executed, even the government at the time didn’t follow the template that was provided by the then BPE and with the support of the World Bank.

 “If we had followed that model, we would not be where we are today. And I see a lot of disjoints in the system that we are operating now. I’ve written so many books, I’ve delivered so many lectures on this and I were to talk about this sector,” Oyedele said.

He, however, noted that the current government was doing a good job in trying to change the trajectory, with progress being made, adding, “because where we’re coming from is a long journey. I’m sure that very soon, you will start seeing the results of the efforts of this government in the last few years.”

He said despite the feelings that the National Independent Power Projects (NIPPs) had failed to deliver, the NDPHC has not slowed down on its mandate.

He said the company has been able to achieve the production of about 4000MW but the transmission line was not able to take more than 4000MW, resulting in the company having to share what it produces with other generation companies in the country.

Oyedele maintained that the money the company makes from the sale of energy is what it uses to execute all of the projects it initiates, revealing that the financial assistance they used to get from the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) was no longer available.

Declaring that the company was proud of its achievements and believes that it could do more as currently being done, Oyedele boasted that, “if you remove all the networks that NDPHC Limited has built, Nigeria will be in total darkness.”

However, commenting on the award conferred on him, he enthused, “I think this is one of the most joyful days of my life. You know, the Bible says a prophet is usually not honoured in his home, but this is different.

“Above my resources for the development of the association and for the development of the university, I honestly wasn’t looking forward to a day like this. I didn’t expect that there would be a day that one would be rewarded for this things without soliciting for it

“So, to be called and to be recognised and given an award to mark the 60th anniversary of the university is indeed something of joy for me.”

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