Yesterday the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) and National Council on Privatisation, chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo, on the second joint meeting announced that 386 firms have expressed interest to buy the 10 power companies.
A breakdown showed that 46 consortia were short listed for Gbarain Power Plant; 44 consortia were short listed for Benin, 42 were short listed for Omotosho, 41 for Egbema, 41 for Omoku, 39 for Geregu, 37 for Calabar, 36 for Ogwurode, 30 for Olaoje and 30 for Oloronshogo.
This was even as it said the recurrent vandalism of gas pipelines had resulted in about one million Nigerians being cut off from power, with one of the DISCOS spending N27 million to fix the damage.
Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam who is also the chairman of the joint evaluation committee that presented its report on the evaluation of the expressed interests to the meeting, said the joint meeting considered the presentation which was made to them arising from the joint technical committee of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company which took place on August 6 and approvals were given on the prayers put forward.
Suswam who briefed journalists alongside the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinned Nebo, the Director of Bureau for Public Enterprise, Benjamin Dikki and Managing Director, NDPHC, James Olotu, described the vandals as mad, saying they were sabotaging the efforts of government and the huge amount of money being expended to ensure Nigerians enjoy constant supply of electricity. He urged Nigerians to rise and protect their properties.
He said: “The reason for people to carry out this act of vandalism is within them, because it is something that is beyond explanation. It is consistent. Some people try to vandalize for all kinds of reasons; why they engage in this act of sabotage is not known. Many arrests have been made, just like the issue of crude oil theft that is going on in this country.
“I think the seriousness given to this by the Federal Government to arrest whoever involved in this act of sabotage is something that should give comfort to Nigerians.
Otherwise, the efforts and the huge amount of money being expended by government to ensure Nigerians enjoy constant supply of electricity is being sabotaged by unknown individuals whose motivation is actually not known to anybody, except to say that this is act of madness.
Any reasonable person should rejoice on the fact that all Nigerians should protect the things that are given to Nigerians.
That is a challenge to the minister to ensure Nigerians are sensitized and be more conscious on the fact that this electricity is not Jonathan’s electricity, it is electricity meant for Nigerians. So, if you are sabotaging it, you are not sabotaging the Federal Government, you are sabotaging the entire Nigerians.”
The minister said the western axis of the pipelines network was worst hit but assured the public that urgent repairs are ongoing.
He said similar vandalism was being visited on electricity transformers.