The Federal Government on Friday officially dissolved the Power Holding Company of Nigeria after it handed over the 14 successor companies created from the unbundling of PHCN to their respective new owners across the country.
Speaking at the official physical handover ceremony of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company to its new owner, Kann Utility Consortium Nigeria Limited, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, stated that the government had paid N360bn to workers of the defunct PHCN.
He explained that there might be some teething issues such as an increase in electricity tariff as soon as the new power owners commenced operations in earnest, but stressed that the problems would abate with time.
He said, “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, PHCN has essentially cease to exist. We now have (electricity) distribution, generating and transmission companies. So it is no longer PHCN.
“For instance, this one is Abuja Electricity Distribution Company and is owned by Kann Consortium. So they are no longer PHCN and it is no longer business as usual, but business unusual because people are expected to deliver.”
Nebo said the Federal Government and the two key workers’ union leaders in the sector reached an amicable agreement on Thursday to peacefully handover the power firms to their new owners.
The unions include the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, and the National Union of Electricity Employees.
The minister said, “Agreements have been reached. Please never in the history of this country has a government kept its word in issues like this as has been demonstrated by the present administration.
“Already, N360bn has been paid out. The remaining N30bn or so is in the pipeline and all the issues of certification, biometric capture and making sure that clearance is done are being completed. Government is on it and the date has been fixed for some as November 15, while November 30 is for others. I have given my word and I am saying that no worker will be short-changed.”
On why electricity tariff in Nigeria may increase, Nebo explained that the present billing system was not cost reflective.
The Federal Government has handed over the Egbin Thermal Power Plant in Lagos to the core investor, KEPCO.
The plant, with an installed capacity of about 1,200 megawatts, was handed to KEPCO on Friday at a ceremony in the Egbin area of Ikorodu.
The thermal plant is arguably the country’s highest generating power station.