The National Council on Privatization (NCP) Tuesday approved a governance framework for the development of a $3bn plant in Makurdi, Benue State. The approval was given at the NCP meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, said it is expected to be the largest hydropower project in West Africa.
He said with the NCP’s nod, the development of the project, which emerged by way of an unsolicited proposal, would proceed through the Public Private Partnership arrangement subject to compliance with all existing laws including the Public Procurement Act. Akande said the project would be the first of its kind in the country and is expected to provide 1,650 megawatts of power. According to him, there is a project steering committee of the NCP to provide leadership and high-level support to ensure the success of the transaction.
He stated: “The membership includes Power Minister as chair, Water Resources Minister as co-chair, the BPE DG as vice chairman and other members drawn from the Ministries of Justice, Environment, Agriculture, representatives of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC; NBET, and TCN. Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba State Governments will also have members and the Director of Infrastructure & PPP at BPE will serve as Secretary. A Transaction Adviser of international repute would also be engaged for the project to assist BPE.”
Akande said the council also received updates on the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant and was notified of the investors’ interest in the concession of the plant. He said the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) had issued a Certificate of Compliance in respect of the Outline Business Case (OBC) submitted for the project.
Regarding updates on the situation with the electricity distribution companies, he said council was informed of the intervention and restructuring of Kano, Benin, Kaduna, Ibadan and Port Harcourt Discos. Akande said the notification for change of directors of those Discos had been fully filled to the Corporate Affairs Commission, reflecting the takeover of the 60% shares by the lenders in 3 out of the 5 Discos namely Kaduna, Kano and Port Harcourt. He said the NCP had also approved the appointment of Ms Sutura Aisha Bello as a Director for Infrastructure and PPP in the Bureau of Public Enterprises.