Home Business After Listing his Power Firm, Tony Elumelu Advices FG to Privatise Electricity Transmission
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After Listing his Power Firm, Tony Elumelu Advices FG to Privatise Electricity Transmission

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Nigerian business magnate, Tony Elumelu, a key figure controlling 15% of the nation’s electricity market, has called on the government to initiate the privatisation of electricity transmission lines. Elumelu emphasised the urgency of revamping the power sector, citing its critical role in revitalising Nigeria’s struggling economy.

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Lagos Office on Wednesday, Elumelu highlighted the impediments to industry growth, pointing to inadequate transmission lines and liquidity shortages within the electricity market. He stressed the need for prompt government intervention to address these challenges. His words:

“The currency crisis is a sign of many things. As a country, we can’t produce well enough inspite of our natural resources. The reason is lack of electricity. Even where you generate electricity, the grid cannot take it, so it’s a problem for us.

“Some institutions have idle gas assets or fields. Government should take some of these and let Nigerians who have the resources and means to invest in gas take them. I am advocating that let us Privatise transmission lines,” Elumelu said.

Elumelu argued that the transmission lines’ privatisation would pave the way for enhanced electricity supply, fostering economic development. He urged President Bola Tinubu’s administration to attract investors, particularly in the private sector, to oversee and invest in the transmission lines.

Nigeria privatised 15 state-owned power generators in 2013, a move aimed at improving efficiency. However, insufficient investment in transmission assets left them weak and inefficient, hindering effective electricity distribution.

The tycoon pointed out the existing power deficit, where less than a third of the generated 13,000 megawatts is delivered to the grid, leaving a substantial portion of Nigeria’s 200 million people reliant on home generators. Elumelu stressed the need to develop the nation’s significant gas reserves to fuel power stations, advocating for increased private sector involvement in managing transmission lines.

Elumelu, who recently listed his power firm, Transcorp Power Ltd., at a valuation of $1.2 billion on the Nigeria Stock Exchange, believes this move will contribute to increased liquidity in the electricity sector. His firms control 15% of the nation’s electricity generating market. Netizens have questioned the genuineness behind his suggestion of privatisation, citing that it could just be for selfish interests.

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