Dangote spits fire, asks federal government to reverse power privatisation

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– Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote is known for contributing his own quota to public discourse

– His latest opinion is on the power sector

– He said the power sector privatisation was done wrongly and has advised the federal government to reverse it

The richest black man on earth, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has suggested that the power sector privatisation should be reversed, Daily Trust reports.

Alhaji Aliko Dangote opinion always reverberate around Nigeria and even beyond

Alhaji Aliko Dangote opinion always reverberate around Nigeria and even beyond

According to Dangote, the privatisation was done wrongly, adding that the problems in the power sector has persisted despite the policy which was initiated by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Dangote further stated that the beneficiaries of the privatisation policy lack understanding of the complexities of the sector.

Dangote made the comments while speaking as a guest lecturer at the Senior Executive course 38 at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, in Plateau state.

He spoke on the topic, “Promotion of Local Manufacturing and Poverty Reduction in Nigeria: The Private Sector Experience and Policy Options”. 

He opined that the generating and distribution companies are now holding the country to ransom because they lacked the requisite expertise to manage the power situation.

Executives of some electricity distribution companies at a recent event in Abuja

Executives of some electricity distribution companies at a recent event in Abuja

READ ALSO: 200% increase in electricity tariff: Fashola asked to resign

His words: “What government did was to privatise but the privatisation was done wrongly. People who wanted to buy all these plants, both the generating and distribution companies, thought that this was another opportunity like mobile phones, where we have moved from 500,000 lines in 2000 and in ten years we now have 120million lines.

“Yes it would have been so but these guys, what they did when they bought these power plants was that they borrowed 90% of the money in foreign currency. You cannot go and borrow dollars when your base income is in naira, you will have an issue because your earnings are in naira you are taking a huge exchange risk and that is what happened today.

“These are guys, with respect to them, when I say guys I don’t mean 100% of them but the majority of them went in without even understanding what they are doing and the worst thing for any entrepreneur is to go into a business without understanding it.”

“If you don’t understand a business no matter how much money they show you that you are going to make, how much profit, don’t go into where somebody has to come and sit you down and start explaining because if he is doing something wrong, you don’t have any way of challenging him.

“If you wake me up in the middle of the night on any of the businesses we are doing today, even the new ones I will be able to explain it to you, I know my entry and I know my exit but unfortunately that is what these guys did and today they are holding the entire nation to ransom, it is very embarrassing for us.”

“Today, how can we say that we don’t have 300,000 prepaid meters? things have changed you cannot go and charge a rate and then you have to follow people one by one to be scheming for them to pay but with a prepaid meter, once you buy for N10,000 after the N10,000 you have to remain in darkness so it is not an issue to start chasing people to pay. And it is also estimated that 30% of the overhead costs of businesses in the country go into the provision of alternative source of power. This affects their revenue and profitability.”

“We should be as open as we can if government doesn’t  intervene by taking back these assets and giving them to people who really have money that they can really inject, we will not be able to deliver on power.

“We should ask, how many people, who and who are these guys that have actually gone into the power sector then you will know when you see the quality of people, are they really serious, because they went in to just make money, power business is not just about money, it is a huge business when you invest heavily you will reap at the end of the day.

“My own advice is that government should sit down with them and negotiate the best way out because we need power, we are desperate for power and if there is no power no growth because if you look at the medium and small industries, most of their income goes into buying diesel or petrol to generate power and that shouldn’t be the case.

Dangote’s comment is coming six months after former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, gave the federal government a similar advise.

READ ALSO: SAD! Nigeria’s power generation reduces to 3,531 megawatts [SEE GRAPHS]

In November 2013, five Generation companies (Gencos) and 11 Distribution companies (Discos) were handed over to private investors with 60 per cent stakes in the former Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) utilities.

The firms assured of metering electricity consumers and significantly reducing the collection and technical losses in the sector within five years.

Many analysts however said the companies have not lived up to the expectations of Nigerians since they bought the former PHCN utilities.

Meanwhile, the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has denied rumours that there are plans to increase electricity tariff again.

The electricity distributors say there is no such proposal with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and that the rumours are false.

The post Dangote spits fire, asks federal government to reverse power privatisation appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read Naij.com 24/7.

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