02 August 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – LESS than 24 hours after the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, released names of companies that bid for the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN’s, 11 distribution companies, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has accused the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, of shady deals aimed at allowing cronies and fronts of the powers-that-be buy up the PHCN companies at ridiculous prices.
NUPENG has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately intervene in the process by prevailing on the BPE and the Federal Ministry of Power to extend the time for bidding to allow other interested parties and Nigerian investors to participate.
In a statement titled “NUPENG protests BPE shady deals on PHCN bids”, the union argued that the hurried closure of the bid was not in the best interest of the power sector reforms.
According to its Acting General Secretary, Comrade Isaac Aberare, ” The Union frowns at the closure of the biddings by the BPE and the Federal Ministry of Power and states that it is an attempt to deprive genuine Nigerian investors and their companies the opportunity to buy these designated power sector companies scheduled for privatisation.
“The union believes that the closure of the bids is to allow the cronies and front men of the powers that be to buy up the PHCN companies at ridiculous prices.
“NUPENG hereby calls on the Federal Government to intervene quickly in the closure of the bidding by prevailing on the BPE and the Federal Ministry of Power for an extension of time to allow other interested parties and Nigerian investors to participate in the bidding”.
The union said this move “will allow the transformational agenda of the Jonathan administration on power to be more transparent and workable, rather than the hurried closure of the bidding”.
The statement further read: “We state that the hurried closure of the sale of the PHCN companies is not in the best interest of the power sector reforms, that a lot of monies have been committed into. We warn that the failure of BPE’s sale of NITEL, Daily Times that is still a mirage today, should not be allowed to happen to the power sector.
“We therefore urge the Federal Government to call BPE to order and request it to extend the date of the bidding of the sale of the PHCN firms so that other Nigerians and their companies can participate in the bidding. A stitch in time, saves nine.”