No going back on the sale of 5 power plants, FG reassures investors

The Federal Government says the five National Integrated Power Plants (NIPPs) put up for sale will go on as planned.

No going back on the sale of 5 power plants, FG reassures investors.

Mr Alex Okoh, Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said this in a statement by Amina Othman, Head, Public Communications, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in Abuja on Monday.

According to Okoh, the Bureau had received 36 Expression of Interest (EOIs) from prospective investors.

He said the Federal Government was determined to resuscitate the power plants to put them to full use for the much needed power requirement of the people and growth of the nation.

He also said that the privatisation of the five NIPP plants was in line with the Bureau’s 2021 work plan as approved by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).

The five NIPP plants are: Benin Generation Company Limited at Ihovba, Edo State, Calabar Generation Company Limited, Cross River State, Geregu Generation Company Limited, Kogi State, Olorunsogo Generation Company Limited, Ogun State and Omotosho Generation Company Limited, Ondo State.

Okoh said that based on the approval of the NCP, the BPE, agency superintending over the privatisation of the five plants engaged the services of a Technical Adviser and advertised for the EOI in three national dailies.

Subsequently, it received 36 EOIs as at the close of the advertised period for the preparation of the EOIs.

He added that the evaluation committee constituted by the management of the bureau, which also includes nominees of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) was trained by the adviser on June 29 and commenced work on June 30.

According to him, the committee will soon present its report to the management and subsequently to the Technical Committee of the NCP for approval.

Giving the background to the privatisation process of the plants, Okoh said the initial process was for the 10 NIPP plants which commenced in 2012 and by November 2013 bidders had submitted technical and financials proposals for their privatisation.

“In the Request for Proposal (RfP), the bidders were informed that they will be required to pay the full purchase consideration for the acquisition of 80 per cent equity in the NIPP generation companies.

“An approval was given through NDPHC in February 2016, to proceed with a phased implementation of the programme by negotiating with the Preferred Bidders of the four NIPP generation companies with the least challenges.

“The transaction was eventually stalled largely due to the liquidity challenges in the power sector, amongst other factors.”

He, however, said that the challenges were currently being addressed by the Federal Government through various programmes like the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) and the World Bank Distribution Intervention Programme (DISREP).

Others are: the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank’s interventions in addressing the sector’s payments management as well as the bottlenecks between the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

He said with the earlier termination of the NIPP transaction in accordance with the provisions of the RfP, the bureau secured the approval of the NCP to privatise the five NIPP Plants.

The Director-General added that the NDPHC on its part had in a letter on April 7, notified the bureau of the approval at its 45th Board Meeting held on April 1 for a joint termination of the 2013 privatisation process.

According to him, this also includes the approval to commence the re-privatisation of the plants.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the House of Representatives had recently asked the Federal Government to suspend the planned privatisation of the NDPHC.

The lawmakers said this was because the asset does not belong to the Federal Government alone and so the planned sale should be put on hold till ownership of the asset was resolved.

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