BY Clara Nwachukwu, Victor Ahiuma-Young & Oscarline Onwuenyi
ORGANISED Labour in the nation’s electricity sector, yesterday, faulted the list of preferred bidders for Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, generation plants as released by the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, saying “the winners are those that have little or no technical expertise to manage and drive the power needs of the country.”
This came as investigation revealed that only about 22 out of the 42 companies, made up the final seven consortia pre-qualified for the financial bids for the generation companies, were registered in Nigeria.
Similarly, one of the preferred bidders, North South Power Company Limited, has denied report linking a former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, with it.
Besides, organised labour claimed the plants had been given to political cronies and fronts at give-away prices.
Under the umbrella of National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, labour argued that the perceived allocation of the power plants to a privileged few in the political class was a pointer to another failed effort to bringing the nation from the power doldrums.
NUEE, in a statement by its General Secretary, Mr. Joe Ajaero, entitled Towards Another Failed Privatization, read: “Recent development in the country as it relates to the privatisation of the power sector has provoked certain thoughts on the so-called genuine intention of the government, especially, the recent allocation of the power plants to a privileged few of the political class.”
Meanwhile, one of the preferred bidders, North South Power Company Limited, has condemned the news linking a former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), with it.
In a statement, yesterday, management of the company said the consortium was neither backed nor sponsored by the former president as widely reported in the media.
The statement by Dr. Olubunmi Peters on behalf of the management, listed four companies registered in Nigeria and another one registered in the United States as well the Niger State Government, as members of the consortium.
The companies are XS Energy Limited (Nigeria), BP Investment Limited (Nigeria), Urban Shelter Limited (Nigeria), Transatlantic Development and Investment Company (United States), Roads Nigeria Plc (Nigeria), and Niger State Government.
However, Chairman, Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatusation, NCP, expressed confidence on the companies, saying “for the seven bidding consortia, whose financial bids are to be opened today (Tuesday), each includes owners and operators of some of the world’s largest and most efficient electricity thermal and hydro generating companies.”