FG grants 3 months payment extension to Sapale GENCO bidder

By The Citizen

The Federal Government has today granted three months payment extension to the preferred bidder (CMEC/ Eurafric) of the Sapele Generating Company (GENCO) Phase 1.

According to report,  the preferred bidder has paid $180 million out of the $201 million it bided for and it has further requested for an extension to allow it complete the payment after the deadline set by government.

The extension was granted at the 7th National Council on Privatisation presided over by Vice President Namafi Sambo.

The NCP had earlier set August 21st this year as the deadline for the payment of the balance of 75 per cent by all preferred bidders. The preffered bidders had already been presented certificates of ownership and would today carry out the physical handing over at the various successor companies nationwide.

The Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Samuel Ortom disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents alongside the Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprise, Benjamin Dikki

Ortom said, “NCP also approved the application of CMEC/ Eurafric Ltd, the preferred bidder for Sapele the extension of time to complete the payment of the paid price.  You will recall that at the last meeting of the NCP where decisions of the payment of the preferred bidder was referred to the Attorney General of the Federation and the legal committee of the NCP for advice, NCP received the unanimous opinions of the two applications for extension. The NCP subsequently  granted the request of the company”

The chairman of NCP legal committee, Yunus Ustaz Usman, while explaining  the legal implication of the extension, said, following the clauses in the privitisation agreement the body came to a conclusion that it was imperative to grant them an extension.

He noted that while Eurafric had bidded $201 million which was highest, the reserved bidder Nestle/Julius Berger, bided only 106 million dollars.

“Eurafric  had paid about $180 million  but it could not pay before the expiration of the time fixed for it. So, the problem was brought to us to advise the NCP as to whether we should extend the time or give it to the reserved bidder. We looked at all the clauses in the agreement and came to the conclusion that there are clauses for waiver that says that the NCP, that is the Federal Government can extend the time when the highest bidder fails to pay within the set time. We also considered this issue that the highest bidder bided $201 million, the reserved bidder bided $106 million. The highest bidder has paid about $180 million. Our legal standpoint, since we have the right to extend at any time  and  since the highest bidder has paid about $180 million, then it is safer and in the interest of the public to so extend”.

Ustaz further added that the “Vice President graciously said since these monies are meant for Nigerians, so, you cannot take $106 million that has not been paid and say you are foregoing $180 million, so NCP graciously agreed and that is the position we are now”.

The NCP at its meeting also inaugurated the board of the Nigeria Electricity Liability Company and the chairperson of the board is the Minister of finance and CME, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.