The Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex Okoh has stated that BPE is set to raise the bar for privatisation transactions. He said this at the kick-off meeting for the privatisation of Afam and Yola Power Companies on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018.
Mr. Okoh added that while the privatisation transaction of the initial set of power companies had received some criticisms, some of the lessons learned would be applied to set an improved standard in these fresh transactions. He stated that transparency and professionalism were the only ways to go.
The BPE boss asserted that there would be no compromise on transparency and integrity in the sale and management of public assets. To ensure this, he said that stakeholders would be carried along thought out the entire stages of the transactions.
While addressing the issue of FBN Quest Consortium being the transaction adviser for both transactions of Yola and Afam Power Companies, he stated that this was in furtherance of the Bureau’s pledge to uphold transparency and due process throughout the transactions.
He explained further that two distinct bidding processes were carried out for the selection of transaction advisers for both power companies and FBN Quest Consortium participated in both. He added that while FBN Quest Consortium was the preferred bidder for Yola Power Company, it was the reserved bidder for Afam Power Company. Nevertheless, he said, when negotiations with Messrs Televeres – the preferred bidder for Afam fell through, the Bureau made recourse to the reserved bidder – FBN Quest, in line with the provisions of best practice.
While Alex A. Okoh expressed his confidence in FBN Quest’s ability to deliver on both transactions, he pledged the Bureau’s support towards ensuring the success of the standards to be set through these fresh transactions.
In response, the Deputy Managing Director of FBN Quest Consortium, Mr. Taiwo Okeowo stated that the Consortium’s goal is to partner with BPE to set an improved standard throughout the transactions and post-transaction activities. To achieve this he said, a team of professionals cutting across technical experts, legal services, as well as financial experts were on board to execute the task.
It will be recalled that although Yola Distribution Company was successfully privatised in 2013 , a force majeure was declared by the core investor in 2014 as a result of the activities of insurgents in the region. The transaction for Afam Power Generation Company on the other hand fell through as the supply agreements were lacking.
In 2017 the National council on Privatisation (NCP) however gave an approval for a fresh transaction to privatise both power companies.
Present at the kick-off meeting were the Managing Directors for Afam and Yola Power Companies Engr. O.N. Obademi and Engr. B.U. Mustapha, respectively. They both stated that the power companies had experienced notable upgrades making it more valuable and attractive for prospective investors.
Amina Tukur Othman
Head, Public Communications
April 4, 2018.