Governors of 36 states reject the sale of 10 power plants, take FG to court

Governors of 36 states under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have rejected the sale of some power plants in the country as they have gone to court to stop the privatization of 10 power plants by the federal government.

The NGF said its lawyers have taken steps to prevent the federal government from selling these 10 power plants, which fall under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP).

The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), owned by federal, state and local government councils, is a power generation and distribution company that oversees the implementation of NIPPs.

This disclosure is contained in a statement issued and signed on Wednesday by the NGF Chairman, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, following the conference call held by the Governors on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.

The plants in dispute: While the governors did not list the NIPPs in dispute, the 10 power plants currently in the process of privatization include; Benin Generation Company Limited, Calabar Generation Company Limited, Egbema Generation Company Limited, Gbarain Generation Company Limited and Geregu Generation Company Limited.

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Others include; Ogorode Generation Company Limited, Olorunsogo Generation Company Limited, Omoku Generation Company Limited, Omotosho Generation Company Limited and Alaoji Generation Company Limited.

The court restricts all parties: The NGF statement reads in part:

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  • “The Forum, after advocating for a halt to the proposed privatization of 10 National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), instructed its lawyers to approach the Federal High Court which is currently , has issued a court. order prohibiting all parties to the complaint from taking any step or action that will or will cause the result of the motion in the notice requesting interlocutory injunctive relief to be null and void.
  • “The effect of the court order is that the defendants may not proceed with the proposed sale of the power plants belonging to the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHCL) until the hearing and determination of the motion for notice of interlocutory injunctive relief.”

To catch: Recall that in April 2021, the National Privatization Council (NCP) approved the adoption of an accelerated strategy for the privatization of 5 power plants, namely the Geregu, Omotosho, Ihovbor, Olorunsogo and Calabar power plants.

  • Despite opposition to the planned NIPP privatization by the House of Representatives, the FG, through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), began due diligence evaluation of the 16 pre-qualified investors shortlisted for the acquisition of the plants.
  • Lawmakers had ordered the BPE in a resolution to halt the sale of these power plants.

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