FG To Privatise TCN

The Minister for Power, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said that the federal government is planning to privatise the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Fashola spoke through the acting Chairman and CEO, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Anthony Akah, on Wednesday, at the ongoing West Africa Power Industry Convention in Lagos.
According to Fashola, the government’s move to involve private sector the transmission phase of the sector, is being driven by non-availability of funds to drive development in the power sector.
“The government can no longer handle funding of the power sector alone. That is why we are now looking towards involving private sector in transmission. This will help in raising fund for the sector”, he said.
After privatisation of the sector, TCN was concessioned to Canadian company, Manitoba.
However, the company was accused of lacking expertise in handling the sector hence, it was again taken over by the government.
Fashola also said the government will explore other clean sources of energy in order to bridge the gap in electricity supply in the country.
He also said Nigeria’s current power mix is lopsided with 80 percent of power being generated from gas.
Earlier in the week, the FG called on the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Development Bank (AfDB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and others, to invest in energy sector.
According to Fashola who made the call, government wanted investment in the generation, distribution and transmission sectors of the industry.
He said the funding gap in the sector was wide and required investments to improve electricity supply. 
Fashola said the sector has huge investible propositions, which only bigger corporations have the capacity to meet, adding that the sector has the capacity to provide returns on investment for any company that invests in it.
He said the government was striving to provide an enabling environment through its policies to guarantee adequate returns on investment.
“Without doubt, bad environment is a problem, which the government is trying to address. It is obvious that the power sector has huge potential, which can only be realised with the right environment.
“When one considers that the sector is broken into 11 power distribution companies (DisCos) and six power generation companies (GenCos), one would see that there is huge potential in the industry. This is the reason the Federal Government is asking investors, especially global financial institutions, to invest in the sector”, he said.



Why I Won’t Privatise Healthcare Institutions- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will not privatise healthcare institutions in order not to exclude the poor and the vulnerable from accessing healthcare services.

The president said this at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday while receiving a team led by Professor Olu Akinkugbe and constituted by the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library to develop an agenda for the health sector in the country.
Buhari stated: “Privatisation aims at maximum profit. It then excludes the poor and the vulnerable from accessing healthcare. But we have to look after the poor.”
Buhari stressed the need to be careful and take a look at the state of development of the country before considering the option of privatising healthcare institutions.
The president recalled that the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) which he headed in the 1990s had developed institutional strengthening in which the PTF supported pharmaceutical companies with resources to encourage local production of drugs.
Earlier, Akinkugbe said the team’s agenda for the health sector include proposals on healthcare financing, developing health intelligence/observatory to pre-empt epidemics, simultaneous focus on primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, preventing labour unrests in the health sector, facilitating access to essential drugs through local production and the drug distribution system.

Credit: dailytrust