Alex Okoh, the Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprise, has assured that the organisation would not compromise on transparency and integrity in the sale and management of public assets in the country.
Okoh said this in a statement issued by Amina Othman, the Head, Public Communications, on Friday in Abuja.
Othman stated that Okoh gave the assurance at the joint kick-off meeting of the transaction advisers for the privatisation of Afam Power Generation Plant and the Yola Power Distribution Company in Abuja.
She quoted the director general as saying: “BPE had raised the bar for privatisation transactions:
stakeholders would be carried along throughout the entire stages of transactions.”
Okoh also said criticisms trailed the initial privatisation of the power companies but that the lessons learnt in the previous exercise would be applied to set standard for fresh transactions.
He added that transparency and professionalism were important in the bureau’s transactions.
On the emergence of FBN Quest Consortium as sole transaction adviser for Yola and Afam Power Companies, he said there was nothing untoward about it.
“It is in furtherance of the bureau’s stance on transparency because the consortium participated in the two distinct bidding processes for the selection of transaction advisers and emerged as preferred bidder for Yola Power Company and reserved bidder for Afam Power Company,” he said.
Okoh explained that when negotiations with the preferred bidder — Energy Markets and Rates Consortium (EMRC) for advisory services for Afam Power Company transaction fell through, BPE made recourse to FBN Quest the reserved bidder.
He added that this was in line with best practices.
Okoh expressed confidence in FBN Quest’s ability to deliver on both transactions and pledged BPE’s support toward ensuring the success of standards to be set in the fresh transactions.
Taiwo Okeowo, the Deputy Managing Director of FBN Quest Consortium, said the company’s goal was to partner with BPE to set improved standard in the course of transactions and post-transaction activities.
To achieve this, Okeowo said a team of professionals cutting across technical experts, legal services and financial experts were on board to execute the task.
Although Yola Distribution Company was successfully privatised and handed over to core investor in 2013, a force majeure was declared in 2015 by the core investor, citing insecurity in the North-East region of the country.
Following this, the company was duly repossessed by Federal Government.
The transaction for Afam Power Generation Company on the other hand fell through due to delay in signing the Gas Supply Agreement and the Gas Transportation Agreement.
In 2017, the National Council on Privatisation however gave approval for fresh transaction to privatise the two power companies.