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House moves to halt sale of 5 power Plants

The House of Representatives has resolved to halt the ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to sell the five power plants located in Calabar, Cross River State, Ihorbor, Edo State, Olorunsogo, Omotosho, and Geregu, Kogi State, belonging to the three tiers of government without following due process.

This was sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by the Chairman of the House Committee on Power, Mr Magaji Aliyu at plenary.

Leading the debate, Mr Aliyu stated that the National Council on Privatisation and the Board of Directors of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company have through a request for expression of interest agreed to the sale of the five generation power plants.

“The House is aware that the plants were constructed under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) with gross installed capacities at 150 conditions -SO6MW, 507MW, 634MW, 513MW and 754MW respectively to support the delivery of the core mandate of Niger Delta Power Holding Company of ensuring the stability of Nigeria’s Power Sector.

He recalled that in 2013, the same attempt to sell the power generation plants failed on the ground of an apparent need to stop reliance on one grid system, hence the need to set up small hydro generation plants in the various States.

The lawmaker expressed concern that the Federal Government has decided to proceed with the sale of the assets despite the fact that the consent of the other shareholder states and local governments, as well as the appropriate legal framework, have not been resolved.

According to him, the National Economic Council on December 24th, 2019 at its 100th meeting recommended that the sale of NDPHC’s assets be discouraged as DISCOs are dysfunctional while the account of the company has to be properly audited to ensure the best corporate governance practice as a prelude to considering the divestment.

Adopting the motion, the House directed BPE to stop the procurement process of selling the five power generation companies until due process is strictly complied with.

The lawmakers also cautioned the BPE Director General to desist from any act to facilitate the sales of the 5 generation power plants until duly authorised by the shareholders in a formal meeting as Stipulated by the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu, editing by Daniel Adejo