Chairman, Technical Committee of NCP, Mr. Atedo Peterside
By Kunle Aderinokun
The Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), has advised aggrieved losers in the bids for the 10 distribution companies (discos), negatively criticising the exercise to point out the specific rules that were breached.
Similarly, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has also cautioned governors of the states that failed in their bids for the discos to desist from politicising the exercise, conducted by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
Four governors - Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of Ekiti State – whose consortium, Southern Electricity Distribution Company Limited, lost the bid for the Benin Electricity Distribution Company had last Thursday opposed the emergence of Vigeo Power Consortium as the preferred bidder.
The governors had at a joint news conference in Abuja declared the bid process flawed and vowed not to allow Vigeo Power to operate in their states.
Speaking on behalf of the three governors, Oshiomhole, said the exercise was not credible and fraudulent.
However reacting to the allegation of fraud in the bid process, Chairman, Technical Committee of NCP, Mr. Atedo Peterside, argued that the rules guiding the privatisation process were followed.
According to him, if the losers had read and understood the rules of the privatisation exercise, they would have realised that the rules were followed to the letter.
“It is sad that in year 2012 that some Nigerians will not go and read the rules before they (losers) rush to make comments. The rules (Request for Proposal) are in 72 pages. They should cite which rules were breached.
“If they read and understood the rules, they will comprehend that the rules were followed to the letter from the very first day of the transactions.
“They all took part in a race and the final results have not been announced. So, if they are now faulting the entire process, it shows that something is wrong,” he said.
In his comments, Chairman, NESG, Mr Foluso Phillips, wondered why the affected governors were trying to truncate the privatisation process even when all the bidders had equal opportunities in the exercise.
He added that the governors did not raise any issues with the exercise until after the commercial bids had been opened.
Phillips said: “We had a bid process in which everybody participated. If they (the governors) have a problem with the process, the issues should have been raised at the beginning of the process. Why is it that they are now complaining after the process has been concluded?
“We are not in a military era. I don’t really know what they are complaining about because they already have a 30 per cent stake in the project.
“Nothing should stop the privatisation exercise because the NESG believes in the deregulation of the Nigerian economy. The whole economy should be deregulated because government in all aspects has shown that it is not capable of running a commercial entity.”
Besides, he said the states and the Federal Government should not be allowed significant involvement in the power sector because they would not be able to add value.
Also speaking, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, who commended the Federal Government for opening up the power sector to private firms, stated that private owned firms were far better than public owned companies.
“A state monopoly is the worst structure in any country. As long as people are paying for what they using, Nigeria will be better off,” he added.