BPE says economy could grow 3% faster if power problem is solvedArticle |  By Eki Toju 

Nigeria needs $15-$20 billion of investment over the next three years to buy and develop electricity assets, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said on Friday, underlining the need to push forward with delayed power privatisation plans.

According to the BPE, the economy could grow three percent faster if the problem of chronic power shortages is solved.

This is coming a day after the Power Minister, Barth Nnaji, said the power ministry aims to increase electricity supply from below 4,000 megawatts currently to 6,000 megawatts by year end, through privatisation.

He explained that government agencies owe the state power firm $140 million in unpaid electricity bills.

The Minister, on Thursday, said, “We cannot continue to operate a system where government agencies become dead beats. They have to pay. Every government agency has a budget for this, they simply don’t pay.”

Privatisation was supposed to be completed last year and industry experts say the delays mean government power supply projections are too optimistic.

PHCN has never been able to efficiently collect money for the electricity it provides and it is owed 110 billion naira, of which 20 percent is owed by government bodies.

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