BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN – ARCHBISHOP Emeritus, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Cardinal Anthony Okogie, has slammed Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE, over its choice of core investors for the privatisation of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.
It will be recalled that BPE had, on Wednesday, named as winners of the bid for the privatisation of PHCN to include, Transcorp and Wood Rock, which has Mr. Tony Elumelu as Chairman, as winners of Ughelli Power Plc, while Amperion Power Distribution Ltd, in which consortium Mr. Femi Otedola’s Forte Oil Plc is a member, won the bid for Geregu Power Plc, among other winners.
Cardinal Okogie, in a statement by the Director of Social Communications, Archdiocese of Benin, Very Rev. Father Stephen Okojie, in Benin, Edo State, yesterday, said the outcome of the power sector privatisation exercise was unacceptable, insisting that it was another deliberate ploy by few privileged individuals to continue to hold on to the collective wealth of the nation to the detriment of the masses.
He said: “Nigerians have been taken for a ride for too long. The result of the exercise, to me, shows that government is not sincere about sanitising the power sector. How can the government allow firms of some individuals, who are still under investigation by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and other law enforcement agencies, the liberty of administering such a sensitive area of our power sector reforms? It will not work. Their antecedents are there for all to see. We will only end up in vicious circles.”
Okogie, who chided past governments for their inability to address the lingering erratic power supply in the country, despite the huge amount expended on the sector, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to right the wrongs of the past by ensuring that the privatisation exercise was not high-jacked by some powerful individuals as is now the case.