The House of Representatives, on Thursday, called on Federal Government to suspend the planned sale of the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) power plants pending the resolution of the lingering crisis trailing the ownership of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Hon. Kolawole Musibau.
In his lead debate, Hon. Musibau observed that Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) was incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act as a private limited liability company with shareholding fully subscribed to by the Federal, State and Local Governments with a mandate to manage the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP).
He said the National Council of State and the National Assembly approved initial funding of $25 billion for NIPP from the Excess Crude Oil Account (ECOA) which statutorily belongs to the Federal, State and Local Governments.
According to him, Federal Government had in 2013 announced the proposed privatization of some NIPP power plants which are owned by the NDPHC, with a plan to reinvest the proceeds in developing renewable power generation projects, adding that hybrid of challenges that bedevilled the power sector militated against the initiative.
He however noted that the NDPHC Board of Directors had in April 2021 agreed to resolve all issues militating against the sale of the assets and considered a special budgetary intervention of $100 million for improved off-take of the state of NDPHC’s stranded power.
He said that the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) recently announced the proposed sale of 5 NIPP assets in Cross River, Edo, Ondo, Ogun and Kogi States with the aim of using the proceeds to fund the Federal Government budget deficit, adding that the assets under consideration do not belong exclusively to the Federal Government but the three tiers of government.
While calling for the House intervention, Hon. Musibau alleged that Federal Government did not take some vital issues into consideration such as the applicable policy, and the appropriate legal framework or legislation under which the transactions will be implemented, as well as the laws relating to procurement or disposal of shares and assets, given the shareholding of the States and Local Governments.
“The House is concerned that the Federal Government did not take some vital issues into consideration such as the applicable policy and the appropriate legal framework or legislation under which the transactions will be implemented as well as the laws relating to procurement or disposal of shares and assets given the shareholding of the States and Local Governments.
“The House is also concerned that the joint transaction Board (JTB) which was created to handle the share sale transaction of NIPP power plants did not approve the sale of five power plants.
“The House is cognizant that the BPE, being a statutory body can only act in accordance with its enabling legislation, the Privatisation Act, and considering that State Governments assets can only be disposed of, in accordance to State law, the State Governments cannot validly accede to the application of federal legislation to the divestment of their ownership interest in the NIPP assets,” he noted.
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