The federal government through the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has approved the acquisition of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), by the Transcorp Group Consortium.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed this yesterday, at the inauguration of the 240 megawatts (MW) Afam 3-Fast Power Plant, located in Oyinbo, Rivers State, owned by Transcorp Group.
The vice president also observed that the N40 billion payment security provided by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for gas suppliers had not made any improvement in gas supply to power sector.
This was just as the Chairman of Transcorp Group and Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, called on the incoming administration to ramp up gas supply to power plants.
The 240MW Afam 3-Fast Power plant in Afam operated by Transafam Power Limited, a subsidiary of Transcorp Plc, with an already existing power plant residing in Afam, brings the cumulative generating capacity of the plant to 1,000MW.
Speaking at the event, Osinbajo, said the NCP gave the approval for the acquisition of Abuja Disco by the Transcorp consortium during the council’s meeting on Monday in Abuja.
He said the Nigerian power sector had been making remarkable improvement under the current administration, nothing that there still issues that need to be resolved in the sector.
The vice president stated that the Afam III Fast Power was an important part of the evolving story of Nigeria’s aspiration to bring electricity to millions of homes, families and businesses that provide their livelihood.
Osinbajo, added that a major weakness of Nigeria’s privatisation process had been inadequacy of private investments and new cash injections.
“But the tide is turning, with indigenous power and private investment such as Transcorp Power and Heirs Holdings making significant investment such as this 100 per cent acquisition of 966MW a strong capacity Afam Plc, Afam III Fast Power jointly referred to as the Afam Genco, an acquisition cost of about a N105.8 billion,” he stated.
“But I must say, the last few days belong to Transcorp Power because at the same meeting of the National Council on Privatisation, the council approved Transcorp Power Consortium as preferred bidder for the acquisition of the Abuja Disco,” he stated.
However, the vice president stated that the government was on track to electrify all Nigerians in the next decade as it looked forward to the next administration scaling up already existing programmes.
Despite all the efforts of the government, Osinbajo pointed out progress would not be made if Nigeria’s industrial and urban power supply that is anchored on large scale gas power plants, such as the Afam 3-Fast Power Plant, does not improve.
He lamented that despite having one of the largest gas reserves in the world, the gas supply and security for the power sector had remained inconsistent and was hampering reform.
According to him, in 2022, a gas supply stabilisation fund of N40 billion was established by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to provide advanced payment security to all gas suppliers in the electric Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
He said, “Consistently, gas suppliers to the sector had claimed that payments certainty was the greatest challenge to supply.
“Unfortunately, the payment security has not led to improved supply certainty. So, I encourage gas producers and gas suppliers to have a fundamental rethink about supply security and propose ways to ensure our gas supply can improve and meet the gap and growing demands of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.
“Some areas to further explore will be to depend perhaps more on non -associated gas and specific gas fields to supply the power industry on more and more liberalised rates.”
The federal government and the NCP had presented Transcorp Power Limited, its post privatisation discharge certificate, following fulfilment of all privatisation conditions at the meeting of the council, meaning that the power company will no longer be subjected to post-privatisation monitoring,
The vice president lauded Transcorp Group’s impressive strides in the power sector.
He maintained, “The last few days, I must say, belongs to Transcorp Power. Just yesterday (Monday), the National Council on Privatisation approved Transcorp Power’s consortium as the preferred bidder of the acquisition of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company.”
He especially commended the federal government for starting and completing the Afam 3-Fast Power project.
Osinbajo added, “Also to Tony Elumelu, the serial power investor and the entire Transcorp team for yet another power sector investment, I am confident that we have all that is required to create one of the best power markets. I am also confident that it will happen within our lifetime.”
In his remarks, the Minister of Power, Mr. Abubakar Aliyu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Temitope Fashedemi, applauded Transcorp Group for its positive contributions to improving electricity generation in Nigeria.
“Afam Plc was taken over from the Ministry of Power with a capacity of 70MW. What I hear today is that already, capacity exceeding 100MW is being recovered from the plant.”
He further expressed appreciation to the Transcorp team, saying: “I would like to commend Mr. Tony Elumelu for driving investment in the Nigerian Power sector across the value chain, your team has spoken to me the best in the sector so far”, Aliyu said.
Also speaking, Elumelu, who highlighted the importance of power to the development of the country, called on the incoming administration to ramp up gas supply to power plants to enable improve power generation for the country.
He said, “We all know the importance of power in Nigeria. We all experience the consequences of our power deficit – the implications for our people, our businesses, our schools, hospitals and institutions – our national destiny. Transcorp Group is a key player in the power sector. We recognise power is the single most critical factor to lifting our people out of poverty and enabling job creation.
“Therefore, I am so proud today, that we have been able to bring together so many key stakeholders. He concluded his speech with the commitment to continue to do well and do good.
“We are fulfilling our promises to the Government and demonstrating Transcorp’s purpose of “Improving Lives and Transforming Africa.”
The successful inauguration of the Afam Three Fast Power turbines was a testament to the Transcorp Group’s commitment to providing reliable and sustainable power to Nigerians. The inauguration took place shortly after the second anniversary of Transafam Power’s operational takeover of the Afam Power Asset.
Transcorp Group remains at the forefront of driving Nigeria’s economic revitalisation through its power investments in Ughelli, hospitality through Transcorp Hotels and now Transafam.
Transafam Power Limited is one of the power subsidiaries of Transcorp Group and the core investor in Afam Genco, comprising Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited. The Afam Genco Power Plant is located at Okoloma Village, in Oyigbo LGA of Rivers State with a total installed capacity of 966 MW.