FG Set To Hand Over Power Assets

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As the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) readies to withdraw its members from all Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) facilities across the country tomorrow, plans have also been concluded by the Vice-President, who is also the Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), Alhaji Namadi Sambo, to formally hand over the physical assets of 14 PHCN successor companies to their new owners.

The event is expected to occur simultaneously at the headquarters of the successor firms across the country where the vice-vresident would be represented by ministers and other top government functionaries.

A statement from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), which was signed by its spokesman, Chigbo Anichebe, however said the Sapele Generation Company (SGC) would not be affected by the exercise since the NCP had directed its legal committee to undertake a comprehensive legal review of the status of the company following the failure to complete payment by the preferred bidder.

The successor companies expected to be handed over to the new investors include Abuja Distribution Company (owned by KANN Consortium Utility), Benin Distribution Company (Vigeo Power Consortium), Eko Distribution Company (West Power & Gas), Enugu Distribution Company (Interstate Electrics Ltd) and Ibadan Distribution Company (Integrated Energy Distribution & Marketing Limited).

Others are: Ikeja Distribution Company (NEDC/KEPCO Consortium), Jos Distribution Company (Aura Energy Limited), Kano Distribution Company (Sahelian Power SPV Limited), Port Harcourt Distribution Company (4Power Consortium) and Yola distribution Company (Integrated Energy Distribution & Marketing Limited).

The generation companies expected to be handed over are Shiroro (owned by North-South Power Company), Kainji (Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd), Geregu (Amperion Power Distribution) and Ughelli (Transcorp Ughelli Power Plc).

Expected to represent the vice-president at the various hand over venues are: Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo (Abuja), Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Ibadan): and Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke (Enugu).

Others are Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga (Eko), Minister of Transport, Senator Idris A. Umar (Kainji/Jebba) and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (Yola).

Others include the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mohammed Musa Sada (Kano), Minister of Information, Labaran Maku (Jos), Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu (Ughelli) and Minister of State (Works), Ambassador Bashir Yuguda (Shiroro).

Director General of BPE, Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki (Ikeja & Egbin), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Dr. Godswill Igali (Port Harcourt), Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power, Mr. Beks Dagogo-Jack (Benin) and Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu (Geregu), will also participate in the exercise.

Out of the 14 successor companies scheduled for handover, a total of US$2, 525,824,534 has been realised as proceeds so far. US$1,256,000,000.00 out of the amount came from the Distribution Companies (DISCOs), while the Generation Companies (GENCOs) raked in US$1, 269,824,534.

According to the federal government, it has set aside the entire proceed of N384 billion from the transaction to settle labour liabilities.

In its determination to resolve all labour issues before the handover, the BPE said it had despatched a team of consultants and its staff for the biometric data capture of 1, 478 employees of the Enugu Distribution Company who could not be audited because of virus attack on the system where their names were stored.

Meanwhile, the federal government yesterday disclosed that it had paid a total of N214.22 billion to 40,093 workers of the workers as severance allowance, adding that the sum of N80.290 billion had been paid as pensions and gratuities.

While briefing State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of stakeholders in the power sector at the Presidential Villa, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali, said government would ensure that all PHCN workers, whose record had been validated are duly paid their entitlements.

He further said the payment was coming ahead of the handover of the assets of the PHCN by private investors tomorrow simultaneously across the country, stressing that an additional 605 workers have also been validated on Tuesday and their payment have just been paid.

In a statement signed by NUEE’s Secretary, Joe Ajaero, the group claimed that only 68 per cent of the gratuity payment had been made, noting that “no member has received a dime of the pension funds savings into his/her Retirement Savings Account (RSA) as agreed.”

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