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Powering the economy

Updated: 2013-12-02 07:25
( China Daily)

With a view to becoming a world-class manager of liabilities and stranded assets in a transitional electricity market, Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Ltd is powering ahead to create a clean and safe environment for investors in the sector.

Created by the National Council on Privatization to assume the Power Holding Company of Nigeria's liability and non-core assets during its privatization, NELMCO is a special-purpose entity with a clear mandate and timeframe.

The State-owned entity has been tasked with raising enough resources to settle the liabilities so that, rather than carry the burden, investors receive clean account statements and bill-free assets.

As Samuel J. Agbogun, NELMCO's managing director and chief executive explained:

"We are very clear about our vision and mission: we are cleaning up the sector to allow a debt-free environment for investors. This is not an easy process. There is a huge liability out there, so our main challenge is with funding.

"Our objectives for 2013 are to support the reform process, to begin the repayment of creditors, and to work with the various agencies-with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Power, the Presidential Task Force on Power, as well as with Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission-to resolve pending issues. NELMCO wants to bring confidence to the sector, and reassure investors that they are coming to a debt-free industry and a clean power sector environment.

"We are dealing with the issues of the past, and giving the sector a total overhaul. Investors can rest assured that their investment will be safe."

Huge potential

With China emerging as one of the strongest leaders in terms of know-how, technologies and financing, for both traditional and renewable fuels, NELMCO is keen to get this Asian country on board.

The Chinese have already engaged in several endeavors in Nigeria, particularly within the power sector, where they are very visible.

Two major power plants have already been developed by Chinese firms, for example, and they are also involved in a study of the construction of hydropower projects in Nigeria.

"Going forward, we are hoping that China will become even more engaged in the sector," Agbogun said.

"Nigeria has proven potential for hydropower and China has proven expertise and leadership in that sector.

"I believe Chinese firms could partner with us in the fields of generation, transmission and distribution, where there is huge demand.

"The Chinese have lots of technologies that we could use in Nigeria- our government is very aware of that and therefore trying to explore opportunities with our Chinese partners."

Agbogun, who has been involved in Nigeria's power transformation process since 1990, highlights the huge untapped potential that still exists in the country.

Powering the economy

"We are only just beginning to scratch the surface," he said.

"We will see lots of changes in the near future, and I personally like to drive changes in institutions where I find myself.

"Attitude is everything: if we can get that right, everything else will fall into place.

"I would like to thank Chinese investors and partners for their participation in Africa's development so far, and invite them to look more closely at Nigeria. There are many opportunities in the power sector, and also with regards to infrastructure, agriculture, oil and gas."

InFocus provided the story


Abuja, Nigeria | Email: info@nelmco.org | Website: nelmco.org

Powering the economy

Powering the economy

(China Daily 12/02/2013 page6)

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