42 firms shortlisted for 10 NIPPS power plants – Suswam

By The Citizen

The 10 power plants built under the National Integration Power Projects by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company of Limited, has 42 firms already shortlisted for the bid openingon Friday March 7th, the Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam has disclosed.

Fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of the third joint meeting of the NDPHC and the National Council on Privatisation presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo yesterday, Suswam said the 42 firms that would take part in the financial bids opening were picked from the 66 proposals for the offer of sales of 80 percent of the shares in each of the 10 generating companies.

According to him, “The evaluation team carried out the evaluation exercise following the approved  evaluation criteria and  guidelines and subsequent due diligence reports have now been approved and reviewed by the joint transaction board.

“Of the 66 proposals received, 54 proposals met the criteria to be technically qualified based on the findings of the subsequent due diligence exercise”, adding “42 proposals have qualified for the financial bids opening.

“Consequently, of the 66 proposals submitted, a total of 24 have either failed the technical evaluation or the due diligences assessment.

“The number of proposals received and qualified for each of the Niger Delta power generating companies will be  subsequently published, each of the companies that qualified for each company will be published subsequently.

“But out of the 66, only 42 are qualified for the financial bids opening that will be done next week Friday. So, the NDPHC will publish the names of those who are qualified for the purpose of the general public.”

The Benue Governor attributed the current chal,enge in the power sector being witnessed in parts of the country to teething problems associated with a transition from government-owned to private sector-driven sector.

He also said challenges were being experienced in the area of gas supply because gas infrastructure had not yet been properly put in place.

This, he said, led to the hiccups being experienced by generating companies with gas supplies.

He however said the Ministry of Power was collaborating with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to address the problem.

He also raised the issue of vandalism which he said was working against the dream of a stable power supply.

“Now, the fundamental problem with the issue of gas infrastructure is the vandalization of those infrastructure. You know, this is purely sabotage because in crude, you know that people who vandalise these crude pipelines are lifting them and selling them for money.

“But when you vandalise the gas pipelines, there is no way you can scoop it. You know it is like air. You can’t scoop it. These are people who are economic saboteurs and they should be treated as such.

“So, this is something that should be of concern to Nigerians because any person who goes intentionally to sabotage an activity of government that would impact positively on the economy of this country should be treated as economic saboteur.

“So we have these issues that are militating against the smooth supply of power even after the privatisation process. So, it is not the BPE problem. I believe that before end of this year, we will be able to get out most of them”, Suswam said.