BPE Directs Banks to Sell Their 60% Shares in DisCos to New Investors

BPE Directs Banks to Sell Their 60% Shares in DisCos to New Investors

•NCP approves release of N1.3bn for payment of 13 year-old outstanding entitlements of SAHCO workers 

•Osinbajo receives RMAFC delegation

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has issued guidelines to banks and other lenders for the sale of their 60 per cent shares in the power distribution companies (Discos).

Also, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has approved the release of N1.371 billion for the settlement of outstanding redundancy benefits owed workers of the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCO).

The latest move by government in SAHCO was aimed at providing succour and ensure prompt payment of the 13 year-old entitlements of ex-workers of the aviation ground handling service provider.

These were part of the highlights of the sixth meeting of the Council presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja.

Director-General of the BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, had presented a memo to Council seeking its approval for the payment of the sum due to ex-SAHCO workers

He also informed the Council of the notice of “peaceful protest” received from ex-workers of SAHCO, who were also members of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN), on account of the non-payment of their outstanding severance entitlements after the disengagement of the workers from the company following its privatization in 2009.

After deliberating on the matter, the NCP gave the approval for the outstanding severance entitlements of the ex-workers to be paid.

The Council also received an update on the development of a 1,650 Mega Watts Hydro Power Plant in Makurdi, Benue State, particularly the inauguration of the Project Steering Committee and the proposed publication on the Expression of Interest for the engagement of a Transaction Adviser for the project.

On the concession of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant, the Council was informed that Requests for Qualification (RfQs) were received from 11 Consortiums, out of which three (NSP Consortium, Mainstream Energy and Africa Plus Partners) were shortlisted to present proposals for the concession.

On the restructuring of the Kano, Benin, Kaduna, Ibadan, and Port Harcourt DisCos, Council was informed that the notifications of change of Directors for all the DisCos had been filed at the Corporate Affairs Commission, while the BPE had issued guidelines to the banks/lenders for the sale of their 60 per cent shares in the assets.

The NCP also received updates on the sale of five NIPP Power Plants, particularly the engagements with the Nigerian Governors Forum on the NIPP transaction, and the resolution by the governors to constitute a committee to review the transaction and revert to the Bureau.

The Council expressed satisfaction with the BPE’s handling of the engagements with the governors on the sale of the NIPP and the federal government’s 40 per cent interest in the Aba Ring-fenced area.

NCP members that attended the meeting included Ministers of Power, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu; Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; Director-General of the BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh; representatives of Federal Ministry of Justice, heads of relevant MDAs and other senior government officials.

In a related development, Osinbajo played host to the management of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) led by its Chairman, Mohammed Bello Shehu.

In his remarks, Shehu appealed to the vice president to support the commission’s drive to digitalise its operations, particularly the efficient allocation and disbursement of revenues to the three tiers of government in accordance with the Act setting up the commission.

The Chairman noted that paucity of funds was affecting the commission’s oversight on revenue generating government agencies and general migration from manual to digital operations, while he also outlined the implications of the development on the revenues of the federation and the economy.

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