BPE offers Afam Power, 2 other companies for sale

Nigeria's National Council on Privatisation, NCP29 May 2013, Abuja – The Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, said on Tuesday that Afam Generation Company, Kaduna Distribution Company and NITEL, had been approved for privatisation.

Mr Chigbo Anichebe, Head, Public Communication, BPE, announced this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

Anichebe said there were 18 companies overseen by PHCN and that 17 were in one process or another of being sold, except the Transmission Company billed for management contract.

“The distribution and generation companies are the ones for sale. We have six generation companies and 11 distribution companies.

“We have almost completed the processes of selling 10 because they have paid 25 per cent; so we are waiting for the remaining 75 per cent.

“We have almost concluded the sales of five generating companies and collected 25 per cent of the fees.

“The remaining generation company is Afam, and Kaduna distribution company are what we just got approval to open bids for,’’ he said.

The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) at its meeting on Tuesday, approved four pre-qualified bidders for Afam Power Plc and seven pre-qualified bidders for Kaduna Distribution Plc.

The four pre-qualified bidders for Afam are Primeniza Energy Limited, Televeras Group, Foby Energy Limited and TES Power Limited.

The seven pre-qualified bidders for Kaduna company are Axis Power Distribution Limited, Nahco Consortium, Incar Power Limited, Aiteo Consortium, LEDA Consortium, Northwest Power Limited and Copperbelt Consortium.

The pre-qualified bidders would be invited to the financial bid opening stage after the submission of the required post-qualification security check.

Anichebe also said NITEL/M-Tel Plc was also up for privatisation.

“The NCP has approved three firms which have scored 75 percent and invited them for the Financial Bid Opening of the guided liquidation.’’

BPE reported that at its meeting of Feb. 27, 2012, NCP approved the privatisation of NITEL/MTEL through a “Guided Liquidation” strategy.

NAN also recalls that a previous attempt in 2006 to sell NITEL and MTel, its mobile unit, to Transnational Corporation, was annulled after the Lagos-based investment company failed to comply with sale conditions.

Also in 2010, Federal Government tried without success to sell the telecommunications company to Dubai’s Minerva Group and its partners, eight months after they submitted bid for 2.5 billion dollars for the company at an auction.

Anichebe said privatisation became an option because the government enterprises were not functioning properly and had become liabilities.

“When you check all the public/state owned companies in 10 years that we did our analyses, none of them remitted one kobo of dividend to government.

“But Government spends 45 per cent of budgetary allocation on them every year.

“That is on salaries and maintenance costs, and they are not adding value. But now, if we give it to the private sector, I believe that the money will now be transferred to funding health and education sectors, among others,’’ he said.

Anichebe said “we have about seven sector reform bills that we have drafted and council is sending them to the Federal Executive Council and National Assembly.

“These include the Antitrust, National Transport Commission, Ports and Harbour and Postal Reform Bills.

“Our job this year is to pursue them and make sure that they are passed.

“For instance, the Anti Trust Bill is important because there is no regulation to competition so far.

“In the cement sector, few companies have monopoly of the entire sector and there is no way you can prosecute them other than appeal to them to allow other competitors.

“But if you have an anti-trust bill, it will regulate competition and call to order if one company is becoming dominant in the sector,’’ he said.

Anichebe stressed the need for postal reform because one agency could not be an operator and a regulator at the same time.

“It is necessary because NIPOST is both an operator and a regulator. It provides Internet services, money transfer and mailing services, which does not bode well for competition.

“If you are an operator, somebody else should regulate. So the Postal Regulation Bill will create a regulation for the sector and let all the players play on equal footing,’’ he said.

Anichebe noted that the major challenge facing the BPE was that of interference from well heeled people.


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