Mixed reactions have trailed Nigerian Power Minister, Professor Barth Nnaji’s resignation from the Power Ministry following reports of conflict of interest by the Minister on bids for power plant projects for the on-going privatisation of the nation’s power sector. According to BusinessDay, “the minister, who before his appointment was the chairman of Geometrics, confirmed his interest in a bid for the plant at the crucial meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) on August 24, at which the evaluation of the bids for Afam , Geregu, Kanji, Shiroro, Sapele, and Ugheli power plants were appraised, and authority given to the Technical Committee on Privatisation, to announce the firms that were passed to proceed to the next stage of the bid process.”
The paper further revealed that Nnaji revealed during the meeting that his firm Geometric, had indirect equity holding in one of the three firms – Primeniza Energy Limited, Skipper Nigeria Limited and NPG Consortium – which bidded for the lucrative Afam power plant with its installed capacity of 776 megawatts (MW), comprising of 18 gas turbines, for which the Federal Government had just approved N500 million rehabilitation.
However, the Minister’s resignation has attracted mixed reactions with stakeholders like workers at the nations’ Power Holding Corporation celebrating his departure while some Nigerians lament his departure wondering if some of his wins in the sector over the past 18 months would be sustained.
Nigeria notably reached what the Minister called the nation’s highest ever power output of 4,237MW in early August with plans to hit 9,000MW by December 2012.
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