Lawmakers in the House of Representatives express concern over planned sale of five power generation companies belonging to Niger Delta Power Holding Companies (NDPHC) plants
The House of Representatives has called on the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to stop the procurement process of selling the five Niger Delta Power Holding Companies (NDPHC) power generation plants until due process is strictly complied with.
The lawmakers also cautioned the Director-General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) to desist from any act aimed at facilitating the sales of the five power generation plants until it is duly authorised by shareholders in a formal meeting as stipulated in the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020.
These resolutions followed the consideration of a motion of urgent national importance titled ‘Urgent Need To Stop The Privatisation Of Five (5) Power Plants Of Niger Delta Power Holding Company’ presented by Magaji Aliyu (APC, Jigawa).
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The House notes that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and NDPHC Board of Directors in collaboration with the BPE through a request for expression of interest reported by Business Day on Thursday, 6 May 2021 resolved to sell five NDPHC generation power plants situated at Calabar (Cross River State), Ihovbor [Edo State], Olorunsogo, Omotosho (Ondo) and Geregu (Kogi State).
“Aware that the plants were constructed under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) with gross installed capacities at 150 condition SO6MW, 507MW, 634MW, 513MW, and 754MW respectively to support the delivery of the core mandate of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) of ensuring the stability of Nigeria’s Power Sector.
Aware that the shareholding of the NDPHC is held by the Federal Government 47%, States and Local Governments, 53% while the board has the Vice President as the Chairman, 6 State governors each representing one of the six (6) Geo-Political Zones and four Federal Ministers of Justice, Finance, Power and State Petroleum.
Recall that in 2013, the same attempt to sell the power generation plants failed on the ground of an apparent need to stop reliance on one grid system, hence the need to set up small hydro generation plants in various states.”
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The House expressed worry that the Federal Government insists on proceeding with the sale of these assets despite the fact that the consent of the other shareholders, states, and local governments has not been resolved.
Similarly, the lawmakers observed that the Privatisation Act which expressly lists the enterprises to be privatised did not list NDPHC or any of its subsidiary generation companies. This development they say is on the ground that it is not wholly owned by the Federal Government, yet, the BPE encourages the Federal Government to proceed without corresponding approval of all the shareholders to validate the process.
They expressed displeasure over the current timing of the privatisation even if it is approved by the prospective shareholders, warning that it may not enable the greatest financial value.
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The lawmakers also listed current commercial and technical constraints in the industry associated with poor state transmission, distribution capacity, and underpayment /liquidity in the market aggravated by global economic recession which will make the assets to be sold at undervalue price and cause avoidable loss to the shareholders.
“Regret that the interest of the shareholders and national economy will be jeopardised if urgent action is not taken to prevent the BPE from selling the assets under irregular procurement process”
The motion was eventually passed when the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase put up the question for vote.