From Uche Usim, Abuja

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has urged prospective power  investors not to be discouraged that the five National Integrated Power Plants (NIPPs) put up for sale will go on as planned.

The Bureau said that the Buhari administration remains determined to resuscitating the power plants to put them to full use to meet  the  power needs of the people and to grow the economy of the nation.

Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE)-the agency superintending the privatisation of the five plants, Mr. Alex Okoh, gave assurance on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, the privatisation of the five NIPP plants was in line with the Bureau’s 2021 workplan as approved by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) which would be strictly adhered to.

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The five NIPP plants to be privatised 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 added that based on the approval of the NCP, the Bureau engaged the services of a Technical Adviser and advertised for the Expression of Interest (EOI) in three national dailies (Thisday, Businessday and Daily Trust) on Thursday, May 6, 2021 from which so far, the Bureau has received 36 EOIs as at the close of the advertised period for the preparation of the EOIs.

He added that the Evaluation Committee constituted by the management of the Bureau, which also includes nominees of the NDPHC, was   trained by the adviser on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 and commenced work immediately on June 30, 2021 which would soon present its   report to the Management and subsequently to the Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatisation for approval.

Giving the background to the privatisation process of the plants, Okoh said  the initial process was for  the ten  NIPP plants which commenced in 2012 and that  by November, 2013 bidders had submitted technical and financials proposals for their privatisation.

“In the Request for Proposal (RfP), the bidders were informed that they would be required to pay the full purchase consideration for the acquisition of 80% equity in the NIPP generation companies”, he stated, adding that an approval was given through the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) in February 2016, to proceed with a phased implementation of the programme by negotiating with the Preferred Bidders of the four (4) NIPP generation companies with the least challenges.