Bidders for Niger Delta power plants to emerge in August, says BPE

The BPE boss stated this on Wednesday in Abuja.

Shortlisted bidders for 10 National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) power plants would be announced on August the 8, this year, the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, has said.

The Director General of BPE, Benjamin Dikki, said this on Wednesday in Abuja. The sale is being coordinated by the BPE and the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

The Head, Public Communications Department of the BPE, Chigbo Anichebe, quoted Mr. Dikki as saying, in a presentation to prospective investors in Hong Kong at a road show jointly organized by the NDPHC and BPE, that the sale of the power plants falls within the context of ongoing Transformation Agenda of the present administration, which seeks to, among other things, create a conducive atmosphere for private capital inflows.

Mr. Dikki noted that apart from power, the transport and housing sectors of the country’s economy, development finance institutions and the Abuja Commodities Exchange that would introduce the warehouse receipt trading system, were also great investment opportunities awaiting interested local and international investors.

The BPE boss said the agency is legally authorized to sell Federal Government’s 47 per cent shares in the 10 power plants, while the NDPHC has the authorization of the states and local government councils to sell 53 per cent of the 80 per cent shares on offer.

He projected that the Bureau would add significant value to the process using its vast experience in privatization of asset in Nigeria spanning nearly 500 transactions in its 25 year history, with the most recent being the sale of the 15 electricity companies.

Mr. Dikki advised prospective bidders to be aware of some of the observed lapses by prospective bidders in the previous bid processes, including the failure to comply with the Requests for Proposal (RFP), failure to meet the threshold of required tangible net worth, and failure to submit bid bonds, amongst others.

He explained that the of the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process for the sale of the 10 power plants was meant to improve on the rigorous requirements of the PHCN successor companies’ privatization transactions, warning that it is critical that all interested parties/potential investors go through the EOI guideline document.

The BPE chief reminded potential investors that the deadline for the submission of EOIs remains July 19, warning that the date would not be extended.

The Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswan, who is also the Chairman of the Joint Technical Committee for the transaction, said that the power sector is the bedrock of the development agenda of the current administration in Nigeria, adding that it is the policy of the Federal Government to ensure that a solid foundation is laid.

He said the three tiers of government— local, state and federal –have invested well over $8 billion in building the ten power plants, adding that with a population of over 167 million, Nigeria remains the largest market for investors in Africa, with the atmosphere conducive for investments.

The Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Chris Ngige, said the proceeds of over $2.6 billion raised by the BPE in the privatization of PHCN successor companies, was not only the largest privatization transaction ever in Nigeria, but also one of the largest in the African continent.

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