This followed the adoption of a motion on matters of urgent public importance presented by Magaji Da’u Aliyu (APC, Jigawa) at the plenary.
Presenting the motion, the lawmaker said, the National Council on Privatisation and Board of Directors of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) in Collaboration with the Bureau of Public Enterprises through a request for expression of interest resolved to sell the five generation power plants of Niger Delta Power Holding Company at Calabar (Cross River State), Ihorbor (Edo State), Olorunsigbo, Omotosho and Geregu (Kogi State).
According to him, the plants were constructed under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) with gross installed capacities of 5O6MW, 507MW, 634MW, 513MW and 754MW respectively to support the delivery of the core mandate of Niger Delta Power Holding Company of ensuring the stability of Nigeria’s power sector.
He added: “The shareholding of the (NDPHC) is held by the federal government 47%, states and local governments, 53% while the board has the vice president as the chairman, six state governors each representing one of the six (6) geo-political zones and four federal ministers of justice, finance, power and state petroleum”.
The lawmaker recalled that the attention of the Board of Directors at its 46th meeting on 23rd April 2022 was drawn to the approval of NCP dated 24th April 2021 to proceed with the sale of the five (5) NIIPP electricity generation plants.
According to him, the planned sale was to fund the federal government budget deficit and the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy, although the assets under consideration, do not belong exclusively to the federal government but to the three tiers of government.
He added that the federal government still insists to proceed with the sale of the assets despite the fact that the consent of the other shareholders’ states and local governments is the appropriate legal framework and policy to apply the procurement or disposal of shares or assets by the federal government or its agencies giving the joint shareholding of the state and local government have not been resolved.
He added: “The Privatisation Act, which expressly lists the enterprises to be privatised did not list NDPHC or any of its subsidiary generation companies on the ground that it is not wholly owned by the federal government, yet, the BPE encourages the federal government to proceed without corresponding approval of all the shareholders to validate the process.
“The National Economic Council on December 24th, 2019 at its 100th meeting recommended that the sale of NDPHC’s assets be discouraged as DISCOs are dysfunctional while the account of the company has to be properly audited to ensure the best corporate governance practice as a prelude to considering the divestment”.
The House resolved that the interest of the shareholders and the national economy will be jeopardised if urgent actions are not taken to prevent the BPE from selling the assets under an irregular procurement process.