The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said on weekend that the preferred bidders for state power assets would be announced in October, even as it hopes to alleviate chronic electricity shortages in the country.
Federal Government is to sell off 11 distribution and six generation companies as part of plans to privatise a power sector rife with inefficiency and corruption.
The BPE said the 152 potential investors have been sent transaction documents and once bids have been received they would be vetted.
“The announcement of the preferred bidder for the 17 successor companies by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) will be made on/or before October 23, 2012,” a statement signed by Chukwuma Nwokoh, BPE spokesman, said.
BPE has said Nigeria’s economy could be growing at over 10 percent if it solved its power crisis but it would need $15-$20 billion of investment in the next three years.
Nigeria holds the world’s seventh largest natural gas reserves but decades of corrupt governments have chosen to cash in on crude oil rather than investing for domestic power needs.
Nigeria only provides its 167 million inhabitants with around a quarter of the amount of electricity used by New York City, leaving those who can afford it to use expensive diesel generators and those who cannot to live without power supply.
President Goodluck Jonathan has made reforming the power sector a priority and a significant upsurge in electricity output would bring him support from the Nigerians who have been disappointed with his progress since taking office last year.