Ex-Minister Explains How Jonathan Sold Government Officials DISCOs And GENCOs

Apr 3, 2024 | Politics | 0 comments

2Dr Shamsuddeen Usman, former Minister of the National Planning Commission under former President Goodluck Jonathan, revealed on Thursday how politicians and officials jostled for shares in privatised power generation and distribution companies in 2013.

The Jonathan administration’s Minister addressed the Nigerian Society of Engineers’ 26th October Lecture in Abuja.

Usman said government personnel who should have been neutral in the privatisation operation committed foul plays and discreetly took advantage of their positions.

At the NSE lecture given by its former president, Mustafa Shehu, the former Minister argued that the transfer of power assets to private investors violated major transaction standards used in privatising government assets.

He stated political factors outweighed the economic or technical capabilities of the favoured bidders in power privatisation.

The ex-minister linked sector issues to the alleged dirty play.

Usman remarked, “I was part of the power privatisation and I am not going to extricate myself.”

It is a joint obligation, and I am uncomfortable with how quickly we rushed that exercise.

“I was the first Director General of TCPC (Technical Committee of Privatisation and Commercialisation), which began privatisation in 1988.

At our Lagos office, we pioneered privatisation in the country. At the time, the Code of Conduct prevented management or the board from buying any of the assets we were selling.

It was sad that the electrical privatisation was not managed properly. Looking at all these discos and Gencos, regrettably, some of us noticed it at that time, but the hurry and politics prevented us from doing much.

“Each has one or two ‘big masquerades’.That is not the proper privatisation method. You don’t sell because of government officials.

“You sell because they have demonstrated the expertise, and a lot of people rushed into it thinking electricity is like telecoms without understanding the industry.”

Usman said Nigeria lacks implementation and planning and expresses regret over certain developments.

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