David Onuoja, Abuja

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: The Senator representing Kogi East Senatorial District at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, Sen. Jibrin Isah Echocho has advised the Independent Power Plants (IPPs) owners to embrace Nigerian Stock Exchange as the only solutions to their operational deficit.

He gave the advice during the Senate debate on the underperformance of IPPs at the Senate on Thursday saying, the only way the liquidity issue in the Independent Power Plants will be solved is for them to join the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

According to him, the problems of liquidity faced by this private individuals, who owned power plants have prevented them from optimal performance due to this challenges of funding.

“It is good we advice them to look for a way in which they can raise funds between themselves; that is by way of equity to carry out their operations. But unfortunately, many of them don’t want to bring in, additional equity holders to beef up their capital base and enhanced their operations.

“One of the problems again is that, they cannot even access loans from Banks or other financial institutions, because many of them are leveraged; highly leveraged in the sense that they are indebted and cannot even go to the banks or financial institutions where they have borrowed money from over the years.

“What I am advising them now, is that, let them get listed in the Nigerian Stock Exchange where they can get money. Get your Company listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange so that they can raise funds for the operations. An example is the Tony Elumelu Independent Power Plant.

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“About three weeks ago, Tony Elumelu carried his Company to joined Nigerian Stock Exchange where he can now raise fund in what we called Public Offer for subscription of ordinary shares.

“Now, that he has joined the Nigerian Stock Exchange, it is no longer owned by the private company and now, the books are open to the general public who can participate, and now anyone interested in that Company can participate.

“That means that, the company can be able to bring additional shareholders through equity and Nigerian Stock Exchange.

“I’m advising other Independent Power Generating Plants to emulate that in order to meet up their operational needs and that can make them to serve the jurisdictions which they are supposed to served.

“And like Senator Ned Nwoko said that the Okpai Independent Power Plant has been there for two years without operations and for that, I said the problem is finance. If they can follows what I said ok, let them do that but let them know that the moment they do that it will no longer be owned by the private individuals but public.

“I know some of them are shying away from this because they don’t want to make the public know of what they are doing but the later is better for them so that they can have the funds to operate. Let them do that in the interest of the company and Nigerians”, he added.

Earlier at the Senate plenary, Senator Ned Nwoko called on the Federal Ministry of Power and the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN to improve the distribution of electricity supply from the Okpai Independent Power Plant to ensure it benefits the communities in Delta North Senatorial District of Delta State.

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This was even as the Red Chamber mandated its Committee on Power to investigate and equally take action to resolve the delay in the distribution of 100 megawatts of electricity to communities in the district.

The resolutions of the Senate followed its consideration and adoption of a motion titled: “Need to address the unexplained delay in electricity step-down of Okpai Independent Power Plant” sponsored by Senator Ned Nwoko (PDP Delta North).

Senators in their contributions supported the motion and voted to adopt its prayers when they were put to voice vote by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

Akpabio, thereafter, referred the motion to the Committee on Power for further legislative work and to report back to plenary in one month.

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