FG Re-Inaugurates Privatisation Council

The Federal Government has reconstituted the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) after two years since its assumption of power.

The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who chairs the NCP noted that the council had handled the privatisation and reformation of 142 public enterprises since inception.

This was made known in a statement from the Bureau of Public Enterprises.

According to the statement, the absence of the council in the last two years had prevented scheduled privatisation transactions as other agencies of government had taken over such responsibilities.

Osinbajo pointed out that the inauguration of the NCP is a critical step in the process of putting in place part of the institutional framework necessary for the actualisation of the socio-economic agenda of the administration.

“It is also a demonstration of our administration’s commitment to public sector reform and the central role of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) in this process. Even though the public sector has been at the centre stage in the provision of critical infrastructure and services cutting across the whole spectrum of the nation’s life since independence, the emerging importance and centrality of the private sector to the actualization of the economic agenda of the administration cannot be downplayed,”

The Acting President stated that apart from playing a dominant role of generating employment opportunities, the intervention of the private sector enhances the process of industrialisation, delivers critical infrastructure and services the country.

To him, the role can only be unleashed when government’s role of regulating and creating an enabling environment is robustly undertaken. “This will, in turn, offer the private sector the required comfort and assurance to make investments and expect a reasonable return on thereon,” he said.

He, therefore, pledged the administration’s commitment to giving all the required support to the NCP in carrying out its statutory responsibilities.

“In return, the Government expects the NCP to come up with creative out-of-the-box solutions for addressing the numerous challenges facing the privatisation and commercialisation programme such as non-performance by some privatised enterprises and post-privatisation challenges facing some of the privatised enterprises.

“The Government also expects the NCP to make measurable progress in respect of the outstanding transactions affecting some of the areas critical to the economic recovery of the nation. You must make deliberate and conscious efforts to learn from past experiences and guard against avoidable mistakes of the past,” he added.

El-Rufai Supports Auction Of Non-Productive National Assets

Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, AssetsAs the controversy to privatise some of Nigeria’s assets rages on, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, says a sale to boost liquidity would be in order.

The Governor, who is a former Director-General of the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE), made the observation on Tuesday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

However, he recommended that only non-productive assets should be sold.

Governor El-Rufai also condemned critics of the proposed plan whom he said should not just take ideological positions to analyse the privatisation.

Instead, he asked them to propose solutions to help Nigeria out of its present economic recession.

Area Of Focus

Meanwhile, an economist, Mr Bayo Rotimi, has highlighted the area of focus the government should consider in its proposed privatisation plan.

He advised the government to focus on institutions “that have constituted themselves into a drain pipe on the national treasury”, especially those that the Nigerian tax payers were keeping afloat.

Mr Rotimi also asked Nigerians to hold the government accountable on how the proceeds from the sale of assets would be utilised.

He criticised the idea of individual ministries selling their own assets, stressing that “the law has empowered the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the BPE to carry that out”.

The economist further emphasised the need for the preferred bidders to have the required technical capacity, the ‘management know how’ and the financial muscle to run the institutions effectively.

Nigeria Should Privatise Assets Through Proper Channels – Bayo Rotimi

Bayo-Rotimi-Nigeria-Assets-PivatisationAs Nigerians continue to react to the Federal Government’s proposed plan to sell some of its assets, an economic and financial analyst believes the process should be carried out properly and with utmost transparency.

Channels Television hosted Mr Bayo Rotimi on Tuesday who observed that the only way the government could earn the trust of its people was to let the privatisation of its institutions go through the proper channels.

“Government Must Deliver”

He noted that the law had provided for the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to be in charge of sale of government assets.

“Essentially for government to earn the trust of its people, the government must deliver on what it says.

“I am insisting (that privatisation) goes through proper channels; through the NCP and the BPE.

“Let us, the people of Nigeria, monitor the process (and) let us flag any irregularities that we notice (and) let us hold the bidders accountable,” he said.

Hold Government Accountable

The economist also asked the citizens to hold the government accountable on how the proceeds from the sale of assets would be utilised.

He criticised the idea of individual ministries selling their own assets, reiterating that “the law has empowered the NCP and the BPE to carry that out.

“The citizenry has to be alive to their responsibilities.

“I believe that citizens must hold their government accountable.

“If the privatisation agencies sell assets that belong to the collective, first and foremost, we must see that those assets were sold through a transparent process.”

“Drain Pipe On The National Treasury”

Bayo-Rotimi-Nigeria-Assets-Pivatisation2Mr Rotimi further stressed the need for the preferred bidders to have the required technical capacity, the ‘management know how’ and the financial muscle to run the institutions effectively.

He asked the government to focus its proposed privatisation plan on institutions “that have constituted themselves into a drain pipe on the national treasury”, especially those that the Nigerian tax payers were keeping afloat.

“With regards to potential sale of stake in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), personally, I do not support that (because) it is a company that is thriving.

“It is a company that is delivering dividend to the Nigerian people and those dividends have come in very handy in the last year and it will continue for the foreseeable future,” the economist said on Sunrise Daily.

Osinbajo Inaugurates Committee On Nigeria’s Railway Concession

Railway-NigeriaThe Nigerian government has inaugurated a ‘Steering Committee’ that will handle the concession of the eastern and western lines of the Nigeria’s Railways.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo inaugurated the committee on Thursday, with a demand from the members to get the job done promptly.

Professor Osinbajo said that the committee would create a one-stop shop for the concession, fast track the process and beat the red-tape and bureaucratic bottlenecks.

He further expressed optimism that the Steering Committee headed by the Transportation Minister, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, would be innovative, urging the members to remove whatever obstacles in the way of a smooth concession process.

The Vice President is also hopeful that the committee will meet its deadlines and end up “to be an example of how it should be done”.

He said that the Buhari administration was determined to overcome the challenges of bureaucratic bottlenecks in the public service delivery system.

“I think this Steering Committee is extremely important, because we have tried to bring together everybody that should be involved in this (concession) project in order to see to it that we deliver quickly and efficiently in a manner that justifies Federal Government’s expense in the project.

“The whole idea of the Steering Committee raises the issue we are trying to address, to have a one-stop shop for all approvals, objections or problems so that we can realise our target,” he explained.

Speaking after the inauguration, the Minister of Transportation said that the committee was set up to ensure the concession of the nation’s railway and is expected to submit its report in six months.

The Steering Committee

The 20-Member Committee is composed of officials and individuals from relevant public and private sector agencies and firms and they are to also advise the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) on policy issues that impact on stakeholders’ interest, advise the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on efforts at improving stakeholders’ relations and also advise BPE and Federal Ministry of Transportation on planning, coordination and implementation of Nigerian Railway Corporation.

Other functions of the committee are to review existing legislations, reports, studies and any other relevant information on the railway sector and provide guidance on policy issues, review economic and financial viability of the project and recommend the level of Federal Government of Nigeria’s investment and review the concession framework developed by the Project Delivery Team.

They will also review the technical, financial and legal framework for the successful preparation and concession of the project, review the activities of the Project Delivery Team that would facilitate the concession, guide the project delivery team in the concession process, assist the concessionaire to obtain all clearances, approvals and permit as may be necessary and assist in organisation of workshops, and public awareness campaigns on the concession process.

The Steering Committee will also brief the NCP and Federal Executive Council (FEC) from time to time on the activities of the Steering Committee; and to carry out any other function that will facilitate the delivery.

FG To Revoke Redundant Coal Block Licenses

Coal minesNigerians who have refused to develop their coal blocks licenses will have such licenses revoked by the Federal Government.

The decision was reached at the end of the meeting held by the National Council on Privatisation, presided over by Vice President, Namadi Sambo, in the Presidential Villa.

Briefing state house correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, said the country was losing huge sums of money in power production due to importation of coal, despite the fact that there are coal deposits in a large quantity.

The Council said that those who are holding on to the coal blocks are causing a lot of embarrassment to the country by sitting on the resources nature has given to the common man.

The National Council on Privatisation is also looking at the way forward for Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill, especially now that cars being produced in Nigeria need raw materials from the plant.

The council also gave instruction to the legal team to remove all encumbrances to the development of Ajaokuta as well as study the lease to Geometric Company for Enugu and Aba DISCOs and arrive at an amicable solution to the empasse so that power will be delivered from there to Nigerians.

The Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) had told Geometric Power to expunge any idea of being given a new distribution company to work with.

The BPE insisted that acquiescence to the demand for a new distribution company will amount to a violation of pre-existing agreements with government, Enugu Disco and Aba Power.

This clarification became necessary following what the Bureau termed as, “blackmail to propel FGN/BPE to deny the rights of one citizen in order to satisfy the inordinate greed of another.”

The BPE further stated that there was a lease agreement dated 28th April 2005, signed between the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and Aba Power Limited (APL).

According to BPE, the agreement was for the generation, transmission and distribution of power to residential and commercial consumers in Aba, and Ariaria districts that fall under the Enugu Zone of NEPA in Abia State.

FG Agrees To Privatise 10 Independent Power Plants

The three tiers of government have reached an agreement on the sale of ten National Independent Power Plants (NIPP) to be privatised by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

Speaking after a joint meeting of the National Council on Privatisation and the governing board of NDPHC, the Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises, Mr. Benjamin Dikki explained that the agreement will further give boost to the privatisation process, which is nearing its conclusion.

53 per cent of the NDPHC plants is owned by states and the local governments, while the federal government owns the remaining 47 per cent.

The ten gas-fired power plants have a combined design capacity in excess of 5,453 megawatts.

The power plants include: Omotoso, Sapele, Alaoji and Ihovbor. They all have 450 megawatts capacity each.

The others are Geregu with 434 megawatts; Olorunsogo with 750 megawatts; Gbarain with 225 megawatts; Calabar with 561 megawatts; Egbema with 338 megawatts and Omoku with 225 megawatts.

14 Bidders Pay $559.44 Million For Power Companies

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on Thursday confirmed the receipt of the sum of $559,445,573.96 from 14 bidders for 15 Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies.

The confirmation, which was contained in a statement issued by the BPE, came ahead of Thursday’s deadline for preferred bidders for the successor companies to make the mandatory 25 percent payment of the offer value of their bids.

The statement reads, “The BPE, on March 21, 2013, received $31million from 4Power Consortium; being the mandatory 25 percent of the bid value for Port-Harcourt Distribution Company; $31.5 million from Interstate Electrics Limited; being the mandatory 25 percent of the bid value for Enugu Distribution Company; and $27,913,633.50 from North-South Power Company; being the mandatory 25 percent of the bid value for Shiroro Power Plc.

“Earlier, Vigeo Consortium, the preferred bidder for Benin Distribution Company, had paid USD $32.25million; Transcorp/Woodrock Consortium, the preferred bidder for Ughelli Power Plc, paid $75 million; CMEC/EUAFRIC Energy JV, the preferred bidder for Sapele Power Plc, paid $50,249,965; Kann Consortium, the preferred bidder for Abuja Distribution Company, paid $41 million; Aura Energy, the preferred bidder for Jos Distribution Company, paid $20,464,968.15; Mainstream Energy Ltd, the preferred bidder for Kainji Power Plc, paid $59,467,500; and Sahelian Power SPV, the preferred bidder for Kano Distribution Company, paid $34.25million.

“Other bidders are: Amperion Power Company Limited, the preferred bidder for Geregu Power Plc, which paid USD$33 million; Integrated Energy Distribution & Marketing Company, the preferred bidder for Ibadan and Yola Distribution Companies, which paid USD$42.25 million and USD$14.75 million for Ibadan and Yola Discos respectively; NEDC/KEPCO, the preferred bidder for Ikeja Distribution Company, which paid USD$ 32.75 million; and West Power & Gas, the preferred bidder for Eko Distribution Company, which paid USD$33.75 million.”

Recall that the final approval of the preferred bidders by the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, and its announcement for the successor companies was done on October 23, 2012.
The Nigerian electricity industry has been unbundled into generation and distribution companies and a single transmission company with a view to encouraging private sector participation and attracting foreign and local investment into the Nigerian power sector to ensure economic and reliable electricity supply.

BPE Reverses Sale Of ALSCON

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has cancelled the sale of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) to US-based BFI Group Corporation.

In a statement by its head, public communications, Chigbo Anichebe, BPE said the directive to terminate the offer to BFI Group Corporation for the purchase of 77.5 per cent of ALSCON is from the National Council on Privatisation (NCP)

The statement explained that the decision followed BFIG’s inability to pay the agreed 10 per cent of the offer price within the stipulated 15 working days of the execution of the share/sales purchase agreement as directed by the supreme court of Nigeria.

However BFIG’s chairman, Reuben Jaja, reportedly said that the cancellation of the sale was a violation of the July 6, 2012 order of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court had granted perpetual injunction restraining any act by any agency of government against the contract until all the issues that resulted in the crisis are resolved.

 

NIPOST Stripped Of Regulatory Function

The National Council on Privatisation has approved a reform bill that will strip Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) of all its regulatory function.

Briefing state house correspondents after the council meeting presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Minister of Communications Technology, Omotola Johnson said that the key factor in the bill is that NIPOST should concentrate on its operational functions in the transformation agenda and help to contribute to the gross domestic product.

Also the national council on privatisation also declared that all the power plants in the country now have core investors.

The latest sale is the Egbin Power Plant which has been sold to a Korean company called Capeco at the cost of $407.3 million.