The new owner of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, West Power & Gas Limited, has unveiled plans to invest $250m (N39.7bn) to transform the facility and improve its distribution network.
The Chairman of the company, Mr. Charles Momoh, said the fresh investment would be injected into the Disco over the next two years.
He spoke after at the handover of the Disco by Vice-President Namandi Sambo, who was represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, in Lagos, on Friday.
Momoh said the $250m would be invested in metering, cleaning up of the system, cabling, transformers and “making sure that everything is in line with what we have specified.”
He said, “We have the responsibility to light up Lagos and keep it lit. This is the task before us which we must do and do profitably. West Power & Gas is committed to spending over $250m on Capex in the next two years.”
West Power & Gas Limited paid a total sum of $135m for the acquisition of the Eko Disco.
Momoh said WPG had raised close to $500m in equity and debt financing to fund the acquisition of the Eko Disco, adding that it had further allocated $48m towards a power purchase agreement with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.
He also said, “Our homes and businesses deserve the need to thrive without the added burden of running generators due to outages. It will take time, it will take fortitude, it will take commitment and it will take collaboration. We know that this will not happen overnight but we are optimistic that only success can follow.”
He said the company would partner with the Lagos State government to ensure that power supply hurdles were crossed in the state.
He said, “It is our aim to develop a partnership with Lagos State Government over the issue of power supply. We are aware that the state government is aggressively working on the power supply situation in the state to enable it to pursue its cardinal developmental programmes to the benefits of its citizens and inhabitant.”
When asked about the fate of PHCN workers, the WPG chairman said, “They are still working for us. We will keep them and weed off gradually as we go ahead. We will keep the good ones and continue to assist them. We will invest a lot in manpower development and keep improving the system.”
He lauded the Federal Government and it agencies such as NPC, BPE and Ministry of Power, for successfully navigating the biggest and most complex privatisation exercise in the West African region.
He said, “This exercise is historic because it is the first time in our history that a utility such as power is being handed over to the private sector. We at West Power & Gas are under no illusion of the enormity of the responsibility that falls on our shoulders.
“The case of neglect of this sector has led to a near collapse of the infrastructure upon which the sector lies. Nevertheless, this exercise signifies change. Under WPG, everything will be done to create a new working environment in the spirit of change. We will therefore demand change on your part to ensure that we float a great company.”