Why we are probing sale of power assets —Reps

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, gave an insight into why it was embarking on probe of the sale of power assets by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

Chairman, House ad hoc committee on sale of power assets, Honourable Idris Ahmed, who briefed newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, said: “The House was concerned that the lofty goals of privatisation was marred by the sale of the sector to preferred bidders that could not pay the bid value on the sale, instead the BPE encouraged the deferment of payment and restructuring of payment terms in contravention of bidding rules to the disadvantage of other bidders.”

He stated that following this development, “the House was worried that the apparent lack of due process in the alleged payment of $23.6 million per annum on the contract award to Manitoba Hydro International (MHI) of Canada to manage the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for four years, after which it was terminated due to non-performance without recourse.”

The chairman of the committee, however, declared  that the committee was poised to discharge its  assignment without fear of  favour, with a view to getting to the root of the matter.

According to him,”we are determined to abide by the oath of office to uphold the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, and all other extant laws of the country.”

It will be recalled that the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was unbundled into 18 successors companies comprising six generation companies(Gencos), 11 distribution companies (Discos) and Transmission Company of Nigeria, was retained by the Federal Government under a management concession.

The House had set up the ad hoc committee following a motion titled: “The need to investigate the alleged non-transparent and fraudulent sale of power assets by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE).”