Vice-President Namadi Sambo
James Emejo in Abuja
The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the governing board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) have approved Friday this week for the opening of the financial bids of the 42 pre-qualified bidders contesting to acquire 80 per cent equity in the 10 National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) electricity plants.
The NCP, rising from its third joint meeting on February 28, had directed that the bids be opened on the scheduled date in keeping with the published timeline for the transaction.
The joint meeting, which was chaired by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, affirmed that 42 bidders, which had been pre-qualified, met the criteria set forth in the requests for proposal (RFP) and passed the due diligence verification conducted on technically qualified bidders.
The NIPP privatisation is a joint transaction between the NCP and the governing board of NDPHC.
The 10 plants are jointly owned by the three tiers of government; local, state and federal governments with the federal government contributing 47 per cent equity stake and the local and state governments with the remaining 53 per cent equity.
The power plants include Alaoji, Benin, Calabar, Egbema, Gbarain, Geregu, Ogorode, Olorunsogo, Omoku and Omotosho.
Meanwhile, Sambo had commended the Joint Technical Transaction Committee (JTTC) chaired by the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswan, noting that the PHCN transaction, “was a highly transparent process and government had assured investors participating in the NIPP transaction that the same level of transparency will be replicated.”
The JTTC is made up of the Technical Committee of NCP and Technical Committee of NDPHC.
The vice-president said the privatisation of the NIPPs was the first time the private sector, National Assembly, federal, state and local governments would be joining forces to ensure an all inclusive transaction process, following a highly successful investors’ fora spanning five countries
He added that the three tiers of government and the private sector in the country were continuing to collaborate in the privatisation process of the power plants which was being jointly offered for sale by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and NDPHC to ensure that the same level of transparency acclaimed the world over in the PHCN transaction was replicated in the NIPP transaction process.
Sambo further stressed that if Nigeria was going to be among the 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020, the right steps must be taken, assuring that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is committed to ensuring that those right steps are taken going forward in implementing the transformation agenda; adding that this transaction is one such big step.
No more than 66 proposals were earlier received from prospective investors interested in the 10 NIPP plants on November 8, 2013.
An inter-agency evaluation team, including security agencies met from November 12 to 22 to evaluate the proposals.
The evaluation report was subjected to the scrutiny of the Joint Transaction Committee and the Joint Technical Transaction Committee before approval by the Joint NCP/NDPHCN Board meeting.
The Joint NCP/NDPHC board therefore approved that 42 out of the 66 were pre-qualified to continue to the financial bid opening stage.
In order to be deemed technically-qualified, the bidders must meet the following criteria in three broad areas as set out in the requests for proposal including completeness and substantial responsiveness; ability to finance the acquisition and relevant experience as well as quality of business plan.