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Senate queries BPE boss over N1bn spent without appropriation



Senate queries BPE boss over N1bn spent without appropriationSenate Committee on Privatization and Commercialization, has queried the Director General of BPE, Alex Okoh over collection of N1 billion from Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to support the Afam and Geregu Power Plants without appropriation in the 2020 budget.

It, therefore, demanded investigation into the sale of the power plants to ensure that the country is not short change in the transaction.

A member of the committee, Senator Theodore Orji had observed that Okoh obtained N1billon life line from Federal Ministry of Finance to finance BPE 2019 transactions including Afam and Geregu Power Plants, etc without appropriation.

He said: “We also found that in Geregu Power Plant, the core investor already owned 51% shares and that the transaction emanated from a request by the investor for additional 29% of FGN residual 49% shares.

“There was no competition and only BPE and their appointed transaction advisers know how the value was determined and sold for N13billion.

“Afam Power Plant it was mentioned that there are actually two (2) different power plants i.e Afam Power Plant and Afam fast power (a brand new plant) built by Seimen yet to be commissioned. Reports have it that it cost about $1million USD to build a Megawatt of Power Plant a megawatt of power plant.

“There is need to investigate these transactions properly to ensure that Nigeria are not short change in the transactions.

“We are also concerned with the recent exit of Transcorp Hilton from post privatization Monitoringby NCP on the recommendation of BPE, knowing fully well that even though BPE was on the board because we had 49%, today our shares have been diluted to 11% failing to take up the shares when right issue was done even though the core investor failed to complied with and implement its covenants with Post Acquisition Plan (PA) and development Plan within Syears.

Senate queries BPE boss over N1bn spent without appropriation

“Agreement development plans within 5 years and the Senate and the House during the 7th National Assembly recommended recursion of the Agreement in line with the provisions of the share sale purchase Agreement. The Senate Ad-Hoc Committee was chaired by the Present Senate President Distinguished Senator Ahmad Lawan (Yobe State),

“My submission distinguished is that we asked the DG BPE to provide us with all copies of the Agreements, correspondences, minutes of meetings; reports and NCP approvals to enable us review them before we take any action in the National interest.”

Responding to state of commercialized government enterprises, Okoh said that over 262 government enterprises have been sold for the past 30 years.

He added that only 25 percent out of 100 percent of the enterprises are not performing as at present, promising to submit the monitoring and assessment of the government privatized companies to the committee.

Meanwhile, the federal government has resolved to concession all national stadia across the country as well as the National Art Theatre, Iganmu and the Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, in Lagos State next year.

They are the National Stadium, Lagos; Mashood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja; Jos International Stadium and Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt, respectively.

Similarly, the government has disclosed plan to commercialise all the River Basin Development Authorities, RBDAs and sell off the Nigeria Integrated Power Projects, NIPP in Omotosho, Geregu and Calabar to core investors.

These were contained in the 2021 budget proposal of Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, submitted to the Senate Committee on Privatization and Commercialization during the budget defence session with the leadership of the agency.

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