Participation by two companies linked to the Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji, in the power privatization process has compelled the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) to cancel the technical bid evaluation process conducted for Afam Generation Company Limited and Enugu Distribution Company Limited.
The NCP, after its meeting had announced the results of the technical evaluation conducted for the 25 bids it received last month for the six generation companies (Gencos) created from the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). From that process, seven bidders were said to have successfully met the cut-off mark of 750 and above during the technical evaluation process and were prequalified to have their financial bids open on September 25.
They are: Phoenix Electricity, Transcorp Consortium and Ampiron Power Distribution Limited, which bid for Ughelli Power Company; CMEC Energy and GPN Nestoil Power Services Limited for Sapele Power Company; while Ampiron Power Distribution Limited, Mainstream Energy Solution Limited and North South Power Company Limited were prequalified for Geregu, Kainji and Shiroro Power Companies respectively.
NCP was silent on the bidders that were prequalified for the Afam Power Station owing to the potential conflict of interest that had arisen during the privatization process. Nnaji, who is a member of the NCP by virtue of his position as Minister of Power, had brought it to the attention of the council that O & M Solutions of Pakistan, a member of one of the consortia bidding for Afam, had worked as a contractor for Geometric Power. The consortium, in which O & M Solutions has a stake, is Skipper Nigeria Limited, which had submitted technical and financial bids for Afam on July 17, the deadline set by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for the submission of bids for the Gencos. Other companies that bid for Afam, a power plant in Rivers State with an installed capacity of 776mw, are Primeniza Energy Limited and NPG Consortium.
The minister further notified the NCP that Geometric Power has a minority stake in Eastern Electric Nigeria Limited, which had submitted technical and financial bids for Enugu Distribution Company Limited on July 31. He also informed the council that owing to his position, he had notified President Goodluck Jonathan of his company’s bid for Enugu Distribution Company, and brought it to their attention that although he has an interest in Geometric Power, he had resigned from its board and transferred his shares to a blind trust.