The Federal Government Monday in Abuja handed over share certificates and licences to new core owners of 15 of the 18 PHCN successor companies.
The ceremony, held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan with the Vice-President and Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, Namadi Sambo, in attendance.
Jonathan assured of better days for electricity users in the country with improved economy and employment generations.
“To the Nigerian people who have demonstrated such great patience and confidence, putting up often with darkness, noisy power-generating sets, the related pollution and daily disruptions in their lives, I say better days are coming.
“We do not expect the sector to be revitalised overnight, but we can all look forward to a better time very soon as we have seen in the telecommunication and banking sectors.
“I am confident that the power sector will promise no less, knowing the caliber of those who are taking over.
“Today, we embark on a journey, a journey that will usher us to a destination of enduring gain and fulfillment,’’ he said.
Jonathan said the ceremony was a milestone in the nation’s journey from a public-owned and -operated electricity sector to an industry driven by private sector.
He commended the efforts of all stakeholders in the privatisation process for the transparent, fair and well-organised way they handled the process.
He urged the affected PHCN workers not to nurse a feeling of displacement, but to dwell on the tremendous possibilities that the revitalisation of the sector hold for the future.
Speaking in the same vein, Sambo said the event marked another major landmark in the transformation agenda of Jonathan’s administration.
He noted that at the inception of the programme, pessimists believed that the feat could not be accomplished.
The vice-president gave the assurance that the electricity market would be regulated in a manner that would promote growth and competitiveness.
“Electricity consumers are assured that their interests will be protected from over-pricing and poor service.
“It is important to stress that the role of regulation in a private sector-led electricity power sector cannot be overemphasised,’’ he said.
Sambo commended international development partners such as USAID, DFID, the World Bank Group and AfDB for keeping faith with the process.
He assured the investors that the Federal Government would protect their investments and create an enabling environment for a private sector-driven electricity market to flourish.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the privatised generating companies are Geregu Power Plc, Ughelli Power Plc, Egbin Power Plc, Kainji Hydro Electric Plc and and Shiroro Hydro Electric Power Plc.
The 10 privatised distribution companies (Disco) are located in Abuja, Benin, Eko, Ibadan, Ikeja, Jos, Kano, Port-Harcourt, Yola and Enugu.
The three PHCN successor companies that have yet to be handed over because of outstanding issues are located in Afam, Kaduna, and Sapele.