Connect with us

Front Pix

Rivers Wins Afam Power Bid…Plans N40bn Amusement Park …Moves To Induct 13,000 Teachers, Monday

Published

on

Rivers State Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi,(right) Managing Director of Raffoul Construction, Elie Raffoul (middle) and the State Deputy Governor Engr. Tele Ikuru, inspecting the site of the set of bridges and roads that will connect Woji-Elelenwo-Akpajo and Abuloma with a seur to the East-West Road in the outskirts of Port Harcourt being constructed by the Amaechi administration, Wednesday

Rivers State Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi,(right) Managing Director of Raffoul Construction, Elie Raffoul (middle) and the State Deputy Governor Engr. Tele Ikuru, inspecting the site of the set of bridges and roads that will connect Woji-Elelenwo-Akpajo and Abuloma with a seur to the East-West Road in the outskirts of Port Harcourt being constructed by the Amaechi administration, Wednesday

Taleveras Group, a Consortium comprising Rivers State Government and three foreign companies, on Wednesday emerged as the preferred bidder with a 260.5 million dollars offer for Afam Power Plc.
The Acting Director, Electric Power Department, Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), Alhaji Ibrahim Babagana,  announced this in Abuja at the financial bid opening for Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company and AFAM Power Plc.
Our correspondent reports that Taleveras Group and Tes Power Limited bade for the AFAM Power Plc, with the former emerging as preferred bidder and the latter, as reserve bidder.
Taleveras Group emerged as the company with the highest offer, above the reserve price, while Tes Power Ltd emerged as the reserved bidder.
Also, NorthWest Power Ltd, a consortium comprising Dantata Investment and Securities Company emerged as the preferred bidder for the Kaduna Distribution Company out of the six companies that bade.
Babagana declared NorthWest Power Ltd as the preferred bidder out of the six companies that bade, with the highest Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) loss reduction figure of 29.26 per cent.
He also announced LEDA Consortium, with an ATC&C of 26.71 per cent, as the reserved bidder.
ATC&C loss reduction is the basis for selection of preferred bidder instead of highest price offer.
The consortiums that lost out on the bids are Axis Power Distribution Ltd, NAHCO Consortium, INCAR Power Ltd and Copper Belt Consortium Ltd.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Technical Committee, National Council on Privatisation (NCP), Mr Atedo Peterside, said the committee asked those who want to buy the companies at $45 billion to come forward and they did.
“So, whoever wins is paying that same price. They are not competing on price. They are competing on loss reduction.
“What the person with the highest ATC&C is saying is that ‘when I come in, I will reduce losses in power generation and distribution’’’.
“In case you don’t know, a large quantity of power this country generates is lost between generation and distribution. So, they are promising to reduce these losses.
“But for AFAM, the companies competed on highest price offering because they are buying an asset,’’ he said.
Peterside said the companies that emerged preferred and reserved bidders would be presented at the next NCP meeting, headed by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
“It is the council that will deliberate and announce the final result in a matter of days,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr Benjamin Dikki, the Director General of BPE, had said that Wednesday’s event was a testimony of the success of the reforms in the power sector.
Dikki said private sector participation in the exercise should bring about higher generation capacities through the provision of more efficient and cost-effective power stations and improvement in the distribution sector.
He also said that there would be improvement in power billing and collection mechanism, distribution networks and so on.
“Government still has 40 per cent in the privatised companies; out of the shares some will be allotted to the states that have invested in the distribution companies.
“Once the percentage is determined, the balance will be taken to the capital market where Nigerians can also reap from the dividends of privatisation,’’ Dikki said.
Meanwhile, workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) are to start receiving their severance packages from this week.
The Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Benjamin Dikki, made the announcement on Wednesday in Abuja at the opening of bids for privatisation of the Afam Generation Company Plc and the Kaduna Distribution Plc.
Dikki said that payment of the severance package was in preparation for the conclusion of the privatisation of the power sector.
“We have resolved all labour issues with the staff of the PHCN. What remains now is the payment for their severance benefits.
“And I know the payment would start before the end of this week or early next week.
“We have submitted all documents to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation for payment,’’ he said.
Nebo said that a proper audit of the payment processes, which delayed the final disbursement of funds to the workers, had been concluded.
Meanwhile, a new amusement park project labeled ‘’Rivers Bongaland’’ may commence before the end of the year.
The project will cost about N40billion and is modeled after the Disney World in the United States of America and will be implemented through a Public /Private Partnership(PPP) with the collaboration of some  Rivers People in Diaspora according to one of the partners, Tonye Horsfall.
Horsfall told newsmen Wednesday in Port Harcourt that already some partners from Hong Kong have shown interest, but that the delay in commencement of work was a result of the current political crisis rocking the state.
He further said that the political impasse was also delaying the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the project.
“ It is something that will bring the world together and you know tourism is the next oil we have. Tourism is what brings money to every country and Rivers State has all it takes to have a tourism village’’ Horsfall said.
The park, he further revealed, consists of a five star hotel, a three star hotel, boat regatta and other amusement facilities for both adults and children, adding that the state government is to provide seed fund and land.
He stated that Rivers people in Diaspora were interested in boosting the tourism potentials of the state, while calling on the state government to incorporate them in the promotion of the annual Rivers Carnival.
In a similar vein, another investor, Mr Peter Yobo has said the group was ready to partner with the state government in boosting housing provision.
Mr Yobo posited that the state government has already directed that the team conduct a feasibility study  on the project, stating that it was being done in collaboration with American Building System International  Lukor Steel, the second largest producer of steel in the United States.
He disclosed that the company has commenced work in Abuja, Calabar, where they are building some units of houses.
Calling on the state government to provide land for the scheme, he believed that if the project is approved it would help civil servants and other middle- income group in owning their own houses.
He maintained that the project would lead to technological transfer and generate employment for the young people of the state.
In a related development, the 13,000 teachers recently recruited by the Rivers State Government to boost its manpower base in schools across the state will have their induction ceremony on Monday 5, August 2013.
Sources from the state Ministry of Education say that the ceremony, which holds at the Seashell Model Primary Schools Port Harcourt, is part of efforts by the government to properly groom the newly recruited teachers with a view to preparing them for the task ahead.
It is not immediately known if the teachers will be presented with their appointment letters during the induction ceremony but the source further said that the ceremony will be preceded by the posting of those affected to their various schools.
The permanent secretary, Ministry of Education, Port Harcourt, Mr Richard Ofuru confirmed the induction ceremony to The Tide in his office but declined to give further details.
It would be recalled that of the 13,000 teachers, 10,000 are indigenes while 3,000 are non-indigenes who were recruited through a competitive transparent and rigorous examination conducted by a team of world class consultants and experts.
It would also be recalled that the recruitment exercise, which was in line with the recent declaration of a state of emergency in the education sector by the state Chief Executive will improve the quality of teaching in schools as well as make the state educational system second to none in the country, owing to the quality of the recruited teachers.
Meanwhile, the newly recruited teachers have expressed their readiness to participate actively in the induction ceremony.
A cross section of those who spoke to The Tide under condition of anonymity also said that  they were anxiously waiting for the day when appointment letters will be given to them.

Continue Reading

Front Pix

90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals

Published

on

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”

Continue Reading

Featured

We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms

Published

on

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.

Continue Reading

Featured

Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW

Published

on

Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.

Continue Reading

Trending