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Nigerian Government Reassures Investors, Insists On Sale Of 5 Power Plants

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The Nigerian Federal Government has insisted that the 5 National Integrated Power Plants (NIPPs) put up for sale will go on as planned. This follows the determination of the government to resuscitate these power plants and put them to full use for the benefit of Nigerians.

According to a statement by the Head, Public Communications, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Amina Othman, this disclosure was made by the Director-General of BPE, Mr Alex Okoh, on Monday in Abuja.

Okoh said that the Bureau had received 36 Expression of Interest (EOIs) from prospective investors adding that the privatisation of the 5 NIPP plants was in line with the Bureau’s 2021 work plan as approved by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).

The 5 NIPP plants that are up for privatization include 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 privatization of the 5 plants engaged the services of a Technical Adviser and advertised for the EOI in 3 national dailies after which it received 36 EOIs as at the close of the advertised period for the preparation of the EOIs.

Going down memory lane in the privatisation process of these plants, the BPE boss said the initial process was for the 10 NIPP plants which began in 2012 and by November 2013, bidders had submitted technical and financial proposals for their privatisation.

He said, “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 the bureau secured the approval of the NCP to privatize the 5 NIPP Plants following the earlier termination of the NIPP transaction in accordance with the provisions of the RFP.

Bottom line

The privatization of these power plants by the Federal Government is part of its initiative to encourage private participation and investment in the power sector in order to boost energy supply.

This will help to resuscitate and boost supply from these power plants which are either not operating or operating sub-optimally.

In a related development, it can be recalled that the House of Representatives recently asked the Federal Government to suspend the planned privatisation of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) 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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