Nigerian President Hands Over Power Companies to Buyers
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan handed control 14 former state-owned power companies to new owners including Siemens AG (SIE), Korea Electric Power Corp. (015760) and Transnational Corp., marking the start of a market-driven electricity industry in the West African nation.
Share certificates and licenses were given to investors and companies that had completed payments for stakes in power utilities offered for sale. Investors staked more than $2.5 billion for 60 percent interest in the companies, the Abuja-based Bureau of Public Enterprises, the privatization agency, said today.
“Today’s ceremony is indeed a major step forward in our concerted efforts to ensure efficiency, competitiveness and best best practices in the country’s electricity sector,” Jonathan said at the transfer ceremony in Abuja, the capital. “We do not expect the sector to be revitalized overnight but we can all look forward to a better time very soon.”
Blackouts are a daily occurrence in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with more than 160 million people. Electricity demand is almost double the supply of about 4,000 megawatts. The government sold majority stakes in the former state-owned monopoly, Power Holding Co. of Nigeria, to private investors that acquired as much as 60 percent holdings in the power-generation and distribution companies spun out of the former utility.
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