Fixing gas supply issues will boost industrialisation – Elumelu

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By Kehinde Ibrahim, Lagos

THE Chairman, Heirs Holdings Group, Transcorp Group and United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group, Mr Tony Elumelu has stressed the need for the country to fix its gas supply issue to be able to power its industrialization dreams.

This is as he urged the government not to look for immediate gains from its state owned assets. Elumelu stated this while speaking at the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja.

According to him, there is no rush to see immediate profits; “we must have that mindset if we are to fully unlock the value contained within these state-owned assets. First set the strategic intent, prepare the milestones, know how you will be judged, and then execute, execute, execute – with discipline and always with that strategic intent in focus.”

Commending the Ministry of Finance for the platform, he described “ the strategic institution that will support the federal government’s efforts to address economic challenges and drive growth in the Nigerian economy.

Elumelu Noted that MOFI should be saluted for setting out goals which include looking widely for models and approaches and bringing a private sector mind set to the stewardship of public assets, he said “for me this has to be one that is long-term in thinking, one that values excellence in all areas, and is strong on corporate governance. The focus on execution, execution, execution – and reward. Times are hard for Nigerians everywhere and we must come together and act in unison to catalyse significant socio-economic development for Nigeria and all our people.

Speaking on the milestones achieved by Heirs Holdings, he said “we are known for how to turn around businesses. Our expertise is in unlocking the value in the assets we hold and our track record speaks for itself.

He reminisced that back in 2010, following his retirement as the CEO of UBA, the desire for new opportunities and ventures, had birthed the Heirs Holdings Group. “At the time, Transcorp was formed to lead the industrialisation of Nigeria. The only asset Transcorp Group had back then was this hotel in which we are all gathered today.

“Today, Transcorp plays in the hospitality, power (both in generation and distribution) and in the oil & gas sectors. In Power, we acquired the 972MW gas-fired Ughelli Power Plant and ramped up its generations from 160MW to 701MW within four years of taking over the plant.

“Our Ughelli Power Plant is the first privatized power company to be discharged from post- privatization monitoring having surpassed all set targets by the BPE and the National Council on Privatisation. “Transcorp Hotels has also been issued a Certificate of Discharge by the National Council on Privatisation. We are confident that once we fix the issues of gas supply in Nigeria, we will be able to generate enough electricity to significantly power our country’s industrialisation.