From Uche Usim, Abuja
To help address Nigeria’s poor energy nightmare, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex Okoh has called for the establishment of energy sources and resources to supplement the limited power generation and supply in Nigeria, especially as only 40 percent of the country’s over 200 million population currently has access to electricity.
Okoh, who made the call at the inauguration of the Project Delivery Team (PDT) for the concession of Small Hydros in the country in Abuja on Wednesday, noted that Nigeria has abundant natural energy resources to address the power challenges bedeviling the country.
He listed these as Sun, wind, Hydro and Biomass (waste) and that it was imperative to exploit and harness the full potentials of the Small hydros for the purpose of electricity production.
The Director General said 12 Small Hydro plants were slated for concessions which include eight Greenfields and four Brownfields located in Adamawa, Benue, Kogi, Ogun and Taraba States as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with a generation capacity of 1.2 MegaWatts to 1,500 MegaWatts.
He added that the inauguration was in line with the mandate of the Bureau and as fallout of the recent Federal Government Circular that provided clarity on the institutional framework for administration of concession in the country which the Bureau successfully engaged the relevant Federal Ministries to get the buy-in.
According to him, the drive to unlock the values of the 12 hydropower plants provides another opportunity for the Federal Ministry of Water resources and BPE to work together, in addition to the collaborative efforts at the partial commercialisation and concession of four pilot River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) in the country.
He charged the 13-member committee drawn from relevant Federal Ministries, the BPE and other stakeholders to among others, ensure transparent transaction, cooperate with one another,provide an avenue for effective information gathering on the assets and provide a platform for coordination & harmonization of ideas while resolving issues in the course of the assignment.
The Director General also charged the committee to screen the eight Greenfield Small Hydros in line with the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) guidelines and BPE’s processes and procedures.
The Terms Reference (TOR) of the project include; draw up modalities for the concession of the Small Hydro Dams; identify necessary measures that will attract reputable private sector interest in the concession of the Hydro plants; liaise with Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET) and other relevant stakeholders in the concession process; develop transaction methodologies for the concession of the identified small hydros; and design and drive the implementation of the concession of the project in line with the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) approved framework.