01 November 2013, Abuja – Vice-President Namadi Sambo on Thursday inaugurated the Board of the Nigerian Electricity Liability Company Limited, NELMCO, with Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy as Chair.
The Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr Samuel Ortom, told State House correspondents in Abuja that the board was inaugurated during the meeting of the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, presided over by the Vice-President.
He stated that the council also approved the application for an extension of time for completion of payment of the bid price for Sapele Generation Company, GENCO, by the preferred bidder, CMEC/Eurafric Ltd.
“Today, the NCP, headed by the Vice President, inaugurated the Board of Nigeria Electricity Liability Company and the Chairperson of the board is the Minister of finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
“NCP also approved the application of CMEC/Eurafric, the preferred bidder for Sapele, for the extension of time to complete the payment of the bid price,” he said.
In his contribution, the Chairman of NCP’s Legal Committee, Ustaz Yunus Usman, said that the extension was legally granted to the highest bidder because the company had paid 180 million dollars out of the expected 201 million dollars.
He said, “Eurafric was the highest bidder and the reserved bidder bided only $106 million.
“Eurafric had paid about $180 million but it could not pay before the expiration of the time fixed for it.
“So, the problem was brought to us to advise the NCP as to whether we should extend the time or give it to the reserved bidder.
“We looked at all the clauses in the agreement and came to the conclusion that there are clauses for waiver that say that the NCP, that is, the Federal Government, can extend the time when the highest bidder fails to pay within time.
“We also considered this issue that the highest bidder bided $201 million, the reserved bidder bided $106 million. The highest bidder has paid about $180 million.
“Our legal standpoint since we have the right to extend at any time and since the highest bidder has paid about $180 million, then it is safer and in the interest of the public to so extend.
“The Vice-President graciously said since the monies are meant for Nigerians, so, you cannot take $106 million that has not been paid and say you are foregoing $180 million.
“NCP graciously agreed and that is the position where we are.”
It was gathered that the reserved bidder for the Sapele GENCO is Nestle oil/Julius Berger.