The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Alex Okoh has commended the management of Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL) owners of Kainji and Jebba hydropower plants in Niger State. He stated that the efficient running of the plants by the concessionaire has validated the federal government’s decision privatize the power sector.
The BPE boss stated this while addressing the management of MESL at end of two day post privatisation inspection tour of the two plants yesterday in Kainji on Wednesday.
He said, “I just want to say that what we have seen here displays the eloquent testimonies of the validity of the privatization, we have seen from the operations of Mainstream Energy Solution Limited that indeed the Federal Government took the right decision to privatize the power sector.”
“For us when we experience an operation like this that is based on structure we are further encourage to continue to push the idea that government has no business doing business,” he said.
According to him, when efficient and committed investors avail themselves of the opportunities available in the country, government can then focus on providing the enabling environment for the private sector to drive business.
Speaking of the ingenuity the MESL team has brought into the operation of the power plants, he said, “I can imagine what this operation looks like about five, six years ago, what we have seen in the past two days just tells us that the creativity that comes from the private sector involvement in business even in a critical sector like a public utility like power, the very best can only be achieved when we combine both the capital and the competence and the expertise of private sector with the regulatory support of the public sector.”
He noted that MESL has proven that its decision takeover the two plants was strategic and its yielding the appropriate results.
“Mainstream seem to have benefited from the logical strategic to combine the Jebba and Kainji hydro plants together.
“We have seen that given the figures that was presented to us yesterday in terms of the critical share of the power generation market that Mainstream control, that you are a major player at least at the generation end of the power sector. Which means that for us when the company begin to attain that status no matter what industry or sector that it is playing in it is too big to fail.
“Your contribution to power generation tells us that you have attained the status where we need to focus a lot of attention on your corporation.
He added that the BPE will support the company with the necessary regulation to enable it succeed, stressing it has to do so, “because your success is implicitly tied to the wellbeing of the country as far as power generation is concern.”
Earlier, the Managing Director of MESL, Engr. Lamu Audu who briefed the BPE visiting team on MESL’s corporate social responsibilities (CSR) said the company has initiated and completed 190 community and people related projects in the last five years.
The projects includes building of hospitals, schools, boreholes, skill acquisition program as well as provision of take off grants and start off tools for graduates of such programs. He stated that the benefiting communities and individuals are spread across the four states of Niger, Kebbi, Kwara and Kogi which are usually impacted by the activities of the company.