News Column

World Bank Backs Power Sector Reform

June 23, 2014

Obas Esiedesa

The World Bank is backing the Federal Government's power sector reform, to ensure it induces the much needed improvement in the nation's economic and social wellbeing of Nigerians.

The bank's outgoing Senior Energy Specialist, Erik Fernstrom who spoke at a send forth dinner for him and Sharon Pauling, Country Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Abuja, commended the government for the successful unbundling of the former Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) into the transmission, generation and distribution companies and its on-going liberalisation and privatisation process.

A statement by spokesman of the Ministry of Power, Patricia Deworitshe on Monday, quoted Fernstrom as saying the success of the transaction has ended the doubts that the exercise was ambitious and an uphill task.

Fernstrom said though it was the largest form of privatisation in the world, Nigeria's story is a success and indeed laudable, urged Nigerians to be patient for the full manifestation of the dividends of the exercise.

He applauded Nigeria for keeping faith with the privatisation process, noting "this ambitious programme, as it is called has proven to the World that Nigeria is serious and I wish that more sectors can be like the power sector in terms of magnitude".

He noted the commitment of both the Federal Government and private sector operators, promising to closely watch Nigeria, as a friend, even from far away Washington DC, U.S.

Leader of the Energy Working Group in Nigeria, Patrick Kormawa who is also the Country Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Nigeria commended both Sharon and Erik for their contributions to the success of the group in Nigeria.

He said working together as a group magnified their collective contributions to the energy sector in Nigeria.

Speaking earlier, Permanent Secretary of the Power Ministry, Godknows Igali, who represented the Minister, Chinedu Nebo, said both Erik and Sharon deserved to be celebrated.

"We value your contributions to the development of power in Nigeria, both of you did so much to build the enabling environment by bringing your institutions' capacities to bear for sustainable power reform".

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Source: AllAfrica

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