7th November, 2013
The Commissioner for Energy in the southern Nigerian state of Delta, Mr Charles Emetulu, on Thursday said the state government invested N4.5 billion in some newly privatised electricity generating and distribution companies in the country.
He also said that the N15.7 billion earlier contributed by the state government toward the development of the power supply infrastructure in the country had become equity contribution for Delta.
Emetulu spoke at the Mid-term Ministerial press briefing in Asaba, the capital and listed Benin Power Distribution Company, Sapale Power Generating Company and Ughelli Generating Company, as the companies where the state bought some equities.
The commissioner said the state spent N48.4 billion on 391 power supply projects from 2007 to date, adding that N29.7 billion was spent on 95 power projects between 2011 and 2013.
According to him, government is not a good manager of investments, but the state government ventured into acquiring equities in power companies to protect the interest of the rural communities.
“With the private sector taking over the generation and distribution of electricity in the country, we should all look forward for an upward review of tariffs.
“This is why the state government has invested the sum of N4.5 billion as equity in the power generating and distribution companies in Benin, Sapale and Ughelli.
“Government will plough back its profits on investment to ensure safety nets for those in the rural communities who may not be able to pay for this product.”
Emetulu said that from May 2011 to date, the state government acquired and distributed over 2000 transformers and other accessories to various communities to improve power supply in the state.
He also said the state government planned to discuss with the new owners of the power infrastructure how the state would benefit from the facilities located in the state.
The commissioner assured that the state Independent Power Project (IPP) at Oghareki, Eithiope West Local Government Area, would be completed before 2015.
He added that the state would partner with the private sector to run the plant.
Emetulu said the state was also partnering with the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) and the Phillips Company to build renewable energy sources in Delta.
The commissioner said the plan was to ensure power supply to the rural areas of the state, especially the riverine communities.