NDPHC power plants' bidders to emerge August – BPE

By The Citizen

The Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, has confirmed that the shortlist of bidders that will be allowed to proceed with the process of buying into 10 electricity firms will emerge on August 8.

Dikki said this in a presentation to prospective investors in Hong Kong at a road show jointly organised by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company and the BPE, according to a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday by the Head of Public Communications, BPE, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe.

The BPE boss also told the potential investors that the deadline for the submission of expressions of interest remained July 19, 2013, insisting that the date would not be extended.

The 10 electricity firms under the National Integrated Power Project were built by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company on behalf of the three tiers of government and have been put up for sale.

Dikki said the sale of the power plants fell within the context of President Goodluck Jonathan's Transformation Agenda, which seeks to create a conducive atmosphere for private capital inflows.

He noted that besides power, the transport and housing sectors, development finance institutions and the Abuja Commodities and Stock Exchange that would introduce the warehouse receipt trading system, were also great investment opportunities awaiting interested local and international investors.

Dikki said BPE and NDPHC were partners in the joint sale transaction process for the power plants.

He added that BPE was legally authorised to sell Federal Government's 47 per cent shares, while NDPHC had the authorisation of the states and local government councils to sell 53 per cent of the 80 per cent shares on offer.

The BPE helmsman advised prospective bidders to be aware of some of the observed lapses in the previous bid processes.

These include bids failing to substantially comply with the Requests for Proposal, failure to meet the threshold of required tangible net worth, failure to submit bid bonds, failure to submit audited accounts, and failure to submit bids on time, among others.

Dikki said the intention of the Expressions of Interest process for the sale of the 10 power plants was to improve on the rigorous requirements of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria successor companies' privatisation transactions.

In his address at the forum, Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, who is also the Chairman of the Joint Technical Committee for the transaction, said power was the bedrock of the development agenda of the current administration in the country.

He said the three tiers of government had invested well over $8bn in building the 10 power plants.

Suswam noted that with a population of over 160 million, Nigeria was the largest market for investors in Africa, adding that the atmosphere was conducive for investment.

Also speaking, the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Chris Ngige, said the proceed of over $2.6bn raised by the BPE in the privatisation of the PHCN successor companies was the largest privatisation transaction ever in Nigeria and one of the largest on the African continent.

He pointed out that the privatisation of the power sector was expected to accelerate the growth of the nation's economy.