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Sunday, April 14, 2024

ELECTRICITY CRISIS: Governors reject sale of 10 power plants

Electricity crisis: Governors reject sale of 10 power plants

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has approached the court to stop the privatisation of some power plants.

In a communique, the NGF said its lawyers have taken steps to prevent the federal government from selling 10 National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).

The communiqué was issued on Wednesday at the end of the teleconference held on Tuesday by the governors. It was signed by NGF chairman and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

The governors also insisted that the dispute over the planned payment of $418 million Paris Club refund fee by the federal government to some consultants be left for the court to resolve.

The NIPPs in contention were not listed by the governors.

But in April 2021, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) approved the adoption of a fast-track strategy for the privatisation of five power plants.

They are Geregu, Omotosho, Ihovbor, Olorunsogo and Calabar power plants.

The government-run Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) – a power generation and distribution company, oversees the implementation of the NIPPs.

The 10 stations undergoing privatisation processes are: Benin Generation Company Limited; Calabar Generation Company Limited; Egbema Generation Company Limited; Gbarain Generation Company Limited; Geregu Generation Company Limited; Ogorode Generation Company Limited; Olorunsogo Generation Company Limited; Omoku Generation Company Limited; Omotosho Generation Company Limited and Alaoji Generation Company Limited.

The NGF communique reads: “The Forum, following its advocacy that the proposed privatisation of 10 National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) should be stopped, instructed its lawyers to approach the Federal High Court which, at present has issued a court order restraining all the parties in the suit from taking any step or action that will make or render the outcome of the motion on notice seeking for interlocutory injunction nugatory.

“The effect of the order of the court is that respondents cannot proceed with the proposed sale of the power plants belonging to the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHCL) until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”

On the controversial $418 million Paris Club Refund fee, the NGF said:  “Regarding the $418 million Paris Club Refund and promissory notes issued to consultants by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO), the forum remains resolute in exploring all legal channels available to it in ensuring that resources belonging to states are not unjustly or illegally paid to a few in the guise of consultancies.”

On the recent flooding that claimed hundreds of lives across states, ravaged homes and farmlands, the NGF said it was working with the Federal Government and its agencies to assist victims.

The communique reads: “The forum is monitoring the flood situation across the country and working with the Federal Government, through the National Economic Council (NEC) and in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHDSD), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) and the World Bank to prepare emergency interventions to ameliorate the impact of the flood crisis especially to sustain food security.

“Sequel to discussions between sub-sovereigns at the recently concluded 2nd African Sub-Sovereign Government Network (AfSNET) conference, the forum agreed to pursue through its membership on the Forum of Regions of Africa (FORAF) and its partnership with the African Export–Import (AFREXIM) Bank, support for enhanced dialogue, cooperation and collaboration between sub-sovereign governments around intra-African trade, investment, industrialization, and development.

“Members were also briefed by the World Bank Task Team Leader (TTL), Professor Foluso Okunmadewa on the desired restructuring of the $750 million Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Program (CARES) programme to respond to Nigeria 2022 Flood Response following discussions with states and the National Economic Council (NEC) Ad-hoc Committee on flooding.

“The restructuring will allow States reallocate funding from the programme for immediate response for livelihoods, assets and basic services.

“As the flood recedes, the states, through the programme, will be able to support the household enterprise recovery grants, short-term transfer of Households displaced, labour intensive opportunities for unskilled labor, rehabilitation of basic services infrastructure, recovery of damaged agricultural infrastructure, rehabilitation of destroyed wet markets, amongst others.

“The forum received update from the Senior Programme Manager, NGF States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Technical Assistance Programme, Olanrewaju Ajogbasile, on the implementation progress of the SFTAS programme which is in its last phase of annual assessments.

“Members were also informed of technical assistance planned and on-going to support sustainability of the reforms including support to ensure states publish their 2023 budget in line with the National Chart of Account (NCoA).

“The forum assured the programme of its commitment to sustain the reforms and implement recommendations that could further strengthen their public financial management systems.”

The governors were briefed by interior minister, Rauf Aregbesola, on the congestion of the custodial centres (prisons) across the country and the digitalisation of immigration processes.

They said: “Members welcomed the report of the Minister and committed to working with law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on the recommendations put forward as they relate to individual state jurisdiction.

“The NGF Senior Health Advisor, Dr. Ahmad Abdul Ahab briefed the Forum on the progress with Polio/Routine Immunisation highlighting that there has been an 85% reduction in the number of Circulating Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus (CVDPV) in 2022 from 1,028 cases recorded in 2021.

“Members were also provided update on the implementation progress of the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (CoPREP) and the recently launched Primary Health Care (PHC) Leadership Challenge.

“The forum reiterated its commitment to the Seattle Commitments and PHC strengthening including the judicious use and timely release of counterpart fund where required.”


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Electricity crisis: Governors reject sale of 10 power plants

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