“The proposal in the EPSR law to unbundle it into ISO and TSP and make them a form of public trust might be a better plan than a direct sale. For now, the revision needed is to unbundle it and appoint independent bodies under NERC regulation.
“Again, the Ministry of Power should follow the regulatory process of appointing and managing TCN. If they allow TCN to be fully regulated, it will be more efficient. Instead of selling to the private sector, make it a public trust for the time being and much later it can be privatized when the market is more financially strong, “said Amadi.
Energy expert Michael Faniran noted that the government did not have a good track record of asset sales and noted that some of the previous government divestments had many challenges.
“Transfer of ownership and recovery of funds from the transaction should not be the end of TCN’s divestment plan, ”Faniran said. He insisted that if the government is to conduct the sale, the process must be auditable and in line with international leading practices, be independent and free from undue government interference, ensure transparency and fairness, and ensure due diligence and evaluation of the bidder.
“The government must obtain the fair value from the sale of the asset. The state must also guarantee that other economic benefits such as taxes etc. will accrue to the state. There must be improved performance and service delivery of the asset after the sale. The government’s goal in the energy sector must be achievable with the asset after it is sold, “Faniran noted.
Mineral / energy resource economist and former President of the Nigerian Association for Energy Economists (NAEE), Wunmi Iledare noted:” Often too many, a temporary employment agency for a defined agenda simply becomes a permanent agency. That’s my feeling about BPE’s involvement in hang gliding in TCN. What happened to the Canadian arrangements? GenCos and DisCos, which are buying NEPA state-owned assets, are not a full privatization because of the enormous liabilities they have to workers. Perhaps TCN’s liabilities are lower, ”he said.
Iledare noted that The long-term value of TCN remains to prospective buyers, adding that this is currently a cause for concern.
“The opportunity to get your investment back is tied to successful DisCos and GenCos. A consortium with no government dictation and a non-government arbitrator is the way to go. I am being corrected, but DisCo’s failure can be traced back to the NEPA asset bidding process in a pseudo-monopoly environment without adequate guard rails, “said Iledare.