Mr Tony Elumelu, the Group Chairman, Transcorp Consortium says Transcorp Ughelli Power Plant will soon begin to generate 900 Mega Watts (MW) of electricity.
Elumelu made this known on Thursday in Abuja at the formal handover of the Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Ltd. to Transcorp Power Consortium by Mr Alex Okoh, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
Elumelu said that when the company took over the Ughelli Power Plant output was about 150MW and in just over a year it moved to 600MW.
He said that investment in electricity was very important and assured that in a short time, the output from Afam power plant would be increased as was done at Ughelli.
“We just want to make sure that in a short period of time, we are able to ramp up the output from the plant, we have done it before at Ughelli and we will do it again.
“I commend the state government for making sure the asset is kept in good state and we are going to work as partners with the state government, the community and the Federal Government.
“This is so that we can make sure that we realise access to electricity and improvement that this country needs for us to create jobs and fight poverty.
“This is the only way we can develop Nigeria,” he said.
Responding, Okoh said that in line with the requirements of the request for proposal and approval granted by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) Transcorp paid 25 per cent cash of the bid amount on Thursday.
He said this was a condition precedent to the current activity of handing over.
“I must add that my emphasis on cash payment is to correct some misinformation in the media that purported that the Afam deal is a mere reconciliation of figures between the Federal Government and Transcorp.
“For the benefit of those who wish to know, this idea was never accepted by both the NCP and its several sub-committees.
“However, with the payment of the money by Transcorp to the treasury today, we hope this unfounded and concocted information being fed to the public would stop.”
Okoh said that sequel to the previous failed attempt to privatise Afam Power Plc and the approval granted by NCP for the recommencement of a new process, the BPE started a free, fair and transparent competitive process of the privatisation of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Ltd.
He said this culminated in Transcorp Power Consortium emerging as the preferred bidder with a combined offer of N105.3 billion.
He said that after a series of negotiations that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government through BPE signed the Share Sale Purchase Agreement (SSPA) with Transcorp Power Consortium on Nov. 5.
Okoh said that though change does not come easy, the reform in the power sector was a necessary tool for laying a solid foundation for sustainable electricity supply, loss and cost reduction as well as service efficiency.
He added that the privatisation of the sector was a key component of the reform and was one of the pre-conditions for the start-up of a competitive electricity market in Nigeria.
“It is also a sensible avenue to reduce dependence on the treasury for support to an otherwise economically viable power sector and channel government resources to other ventures.”
He however urged Transcorp Consortium to use its proven capacity and pedigree as demonstrated with Transcorp Ughelli Power Plant and Transcorp Hotel, Abuja to transform Afam Power into an exemplary utility company of reference.