11 February 2014, Abuja – The Federal Government may be compelled to alter the time table for privatisation of the 10 National Integrated Power Plants, NIPPs, owing to delay in completion of some of the power plants put up for sale.
The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), managers of the NIPPs had turned down request by stakeholders in the power sector that the handover of the assets to investors, scheduled for June 2014 be extended to a later date.
Under the privatisation programme, the financial bids for the 10 power plants listed for sale was scheduled for January this year, while the handover of assets to investors had been fixed for June 2014.
The duo of National Council on Privatisation Techinical Committee Chairman, Mr. Atedo Peterside and Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mr. James Olotu stated at the Transaction Review Conference organised to provide clarify issues relating to privatisation process of the 10 power plants, that government would not alter the time table for the privatisation of the power assets.
Peterside maintained that the timeline remained as slated, adding that those that refused to meet the deadline never liked the deal.
Olotu, on his part, had given a firm assurance that the power plants would be completed to the specified standard before handover.
He said the company would not hand over any incomplete power generating plant by the hand over date and expressed optimism that the power plants completion process would not hinder the privatisation exercise.
“The most important thing is that, no power plant will be handed over to any successful bidder without it being completed to the specified standard, Olotu said.
Providing updates on the project recently, the NDPHC boss had explained that of the 10 power plants put up for grabs, five had reached 96 per cent completion, one at 90 per cent while the remaining four were at 80 per cent completion stages.
However, investigation weekend revealed that the financial bids for the 10 power plants constructed by the Federal Government under the National Integrated Power Project, scheduled for January this year could not go on as planned as some of the power plants are no where nearing completion.
Sources familiar with the project hinted that that the projects had reached appreciable level, but argued that government would not want to hand them over as they were, because it would not attract the expected revenue. The source said from all indications, government would alter the privatisation timeline to give contractors more time.
The NDPHC had stated that inadequate gas supply was hampering full operation of the power plants. But the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has debunked the claim, stating there is adequate gas for power generation.
“All PHCN and NIPP power plants are now connected to gas pipeline infrastructure while an additional 450km are under construction currently, of which 340km is due to for completion by the end of 2014 and the balance by 2016, the corporation said at the weekend.
The NDPHC is jointly owned by the Federal, States and Local Government of Nigeria through their subscription from the excess crude account.
– Chika Amanze-Nwachuku, This Day