No fewer than 36 power sector investors have submitted Expressions of Interest (EoIs) for the five National Integrated Power Plants (NIPPs) put up for sale by the Federal Government.
The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex Okoh, told journalists in Abuja, yesterday, 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 affected 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 revealed that based on the approval of the NCP, the BPE has already engaged the services of a Technical Adviser who would assist the agency in the transaction process.
He added that the Evaluation Committee constituted by the bureau, which also included nominees of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) has commenced work on the EoIs.
The initial process was for the ten NIPP plants to be privatized.
That process commenced in 2012 and by November, 2013 bidders had submitted technical and financial proposals for their privatisation.
“In the Request for Proposal (RfP), the bidders were informed that they would be required to pay the full purchase consideration for the acquisition of 80% equity in the NIPP generation companies”, Okoh stated, adding that an approval was given through the NDPHC in February, 2016, to proceed with a phased implementation of the programme by negotiating with the Preferred Bidders of the four (4) NIPP generation companies with the least challenges.
However, he noted that the transaction was eventually stalled largely due to the liquidity challenges in the power sector, amongst other factors.
He said that the challenges were being addressed comprehensively by the Federal Government through various programmes like the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), the World Bank Distribution Intervention Programme (DISREP), 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).
Meanwhile, workers in the nation’s power sector, on the platform of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have served the Federal Government a notice of industrial unrest over planned sale of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), warning of its threat to national security, among others dangers.
Already, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which had earlier rejected the plan to sell the TUC, declared “Operation Save TCN from the Enemies of Nigeria” and full support for the workers’ action.
The NLC, through its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, called on the National Assembly and other well-meaning Nigerians to join forces with labour and stop any attempt to sell TCN to private individuals to the detriment of the Nigerians.
The NUEE, in a statement by its General Secretary, Comrade Joe Ajaero, argued that “leaving the nation’s full power architecture in the hands of private business owners, who lack the expertise to own and run critical economic assets, poses serious security risk to the nation, as we will be driven by the wimps and caprices of the ‘harvestors’.”
Ajaero contended that the enemies of Nigeria had once deceived the country to grant about N1.5trillion to the same private individuals the government sold its distribution and generation facilities to, at a ridiculous rate of not more than N400billion.
He lamented that almost eight years after the privatisation of the power sector, there had not been any visible improvement in terms of power supply, expansion or investments by the new owners of the DisCos and GenCos.
The NUEE general secretary fingered “Three key officers working with a few vested interest in the Ministry of Power, who do not understand the concept in power generation, transmission and distribution, to carry out their selfish personal privatisation agenda and milk the nation off its vital economic assets.”
According to him, “Why would the Federal Government want to privatise TCN with the improvement made in terms of expansion and strengthened transmission network? The five-yearly performance appraisal process provided for in the Electric Power Sector Reforms (EPSR) Act, 2005, has been jettisoned despite calls by Nigerians to review the performances of the sector players.
“A dime has never been declared as profit for government’s 40% asset ownership in the privatised companies till date, yet it remains a pitiable tale of ‘private gain, public disaster. We had alerted the Federal Government and Nigerians against going into a fraudulent/fictitious agreement with SIEMENS towards improving transmission capacity to a level which the existing nation’s transmission capacity had surpassed.
“It will be recalled that in December, 2019, the Union embarked on an industrial action over non-implementation of agreements reached with the Federal Government over the 2013 privatisation and other salient issues bedevilling the power sector. Despite the intervention of the leadership of the National Assembly and the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Power in its deep slumber is still busy pursuing rats when its house is on fire.
“This statement serves as notice to Nigerians that the union will resume its suspended industrial action for the non-implementation of the agreements. Besides, the plan to further enslave Nigerians based on hemlock prescriptions of the IMF, World Bank and Britton Wood institutions will meet the resistance of the masses and workers of Nigeria, who lost their jobs in thousands, some without pay and Nigerians who have been paying for darkness with the over 400 percent tariff increase for services not rendered.
“With the non-implementation of the agreements reached with labour eight years after, worsening power supply situation, exploitative tariff imposition on toiling people of Nigeria, and projected 200 percent increase in tariff in the first year of TCN privatisation, the struggle will be between the oppressors and the oppressed,” they stated.
FG Moves To Stop Influx Of Illegal Aliens
The Federal Government has promised to put measures in place to end the movement of illegal immigrants into the country to secure the country.
The government stated that the era where aliens easily enter the country with fake travel documents must stop.
The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, according to a statement on Saturday by the Director of Press of the Ministry, Afonja Ajibola, disclosed this when the Director, the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dasuki Arabi visited him.
The statement read, “The Minister assured he is working seriously on efficient ways at securing Nigeria borders; saying a situation where illegal aliens easily find their ways into the country often with fake travel documents has to be stopped. In his view, Nigeria cannot be secured if its borders are not secured”.
The Minister also said the Ministry was ready to partner with the BPSR in proffering effective solutions to the nation’s security challenges, especially in securing the nation’s borders.
“I am ready to actively collaborate with the Bureau of Public Service Reforms to find solutions to our security challenges,” he was quoted as saying.
ECOWAS Condemns Plot To Obstruct Peace In Sierra Leone
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has condemned the plot by some individuals to disturb peace in Sierra Leone.
The condemnation is contained in a statement issued by ECOWAS in Abuja, yesterday.
ECOWAS said, “The bloc has learnt, with utter disgust, a plot by certain individuals to aquire arms and disturb the peace and constitutional order in Sierra Leone.
“ECOWAS condemns this act and calls for the arrest and prosecution of everyone involved in the illegality.
“The bloc has always maintained its zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government.
“We want to reaffirm our commitment to supporting the government and the people of Sierra Leone’s quest to deepen democracy and good governance by consolidating peace and security so as to foster socio-economic development”.
Earlier, the Sierra Leonean Government had declared a 24-hour nationwide curfew in a proactive step to ensure that the peace is not tampered with.
Bad Roads Fuelling Insecurity In N’East -Govs
Worried by the security challenges confronting the region, governors of the North East have resolved to embark on more collaborative efforts among member states to come up with a security architecture design for the region.
The governors noted that bad federal roads are fuelling insecurity in the region and called on the Federal Ministry of Works to follow through with road contracts awarded in the region.
This is contained in a communique issued at the end of the 9th meeting of the forum, held at the banquet hall of the Adamawa State Government House in Yola last Saturday.
According to a statement signed by the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, the forum said there was a need for a robust platform for regional economic development and resolved to work as an entity in strengthening the human capacity and socio-economic development of its people.
The communique read in part, “Forum is continuously disturbed about the poor infrastructural base of the region. More concerned that the federal roads within and between the states in the region have been neglected.
“We call on the Federal Ministry of Works to follow through with road contracts awarded in the region. The poor road network is fuelling insecurity stalling development and making life more difficult for our people in the region.
“Forum notes that the bad federal roads within and between the states are major setbacks to the infrastructural development of the region.
“Forum notes the poor energy situation in the region. To mitigate the situation, Forum resolved to work with Shanghai Electric to construct a 60 MW Coal Power Power Plant in each state of the region.
“Forum decried the lack of modern rail projects in the region and called for repairs on the old gauge rail lines which no longer useful and sustainable technology. Forum calls for inclusion of the region into the Nigerian National Railway Transport Plan using the Modern Guage rail.”
On climate change and environmental degradation, the forum resolved to strengthen its collaboration with all initiatives such as the Great Green Wall and the Global Initiative of Carbon Credit financing.
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