Daily Trust (Abuja)

5 August 2012

Nigeria: PHCN Privatization - 111 Firms Petition FG Over Exclusion

Lagos — A group of 111 prospective investors who had been prequalified to bid for 17 firms in government electricity firms slated for privatization by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) have petitioned the federal government and the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) for tactically being excluded from submitting their bids.

Some of the firms, it was gathered, complained that they were disallowed from submitting the bids because of being late for just five to 10 minutes.

The BPE had earlier given prequalified investors in power generating and distribution firms up to July 17 and 31 respectively to submit their bids.

After the close of the bid, BPE announced that only 54 companies out of 190 companies met the deadline.

But the group in a petition said for such a process to be considered effective, successful and truly competitive, at least a 60 percent submission rate should be recorded in a best case scenario, worst case 50 percent.

The group stated, "Global standards suggest that for individual successor company terms, at least five bidding companies, worst case three should be evaluated for positions of 'preferred', 'reserved' and 'alternate'. This allows for proper evaluation flexibility but in this case it is not".

According to statistics made available to Sunday Trust, the total population of investors prequalified for both the successor generating and distribution companies amounted to 190 of which only 79 bidders submitted bids.

This translates to a submission rate of 41.5 percent and of the 111 pre-qualified bidders for the PHCN Successor Distribution Companies, only 54 bidders successfully submitted their bids within the timelines, a submission rate of just 49 percent.

The low submission rate the group said is as a result of low submission turn-out for at least 8 of the 11 Distribution Companies (or 73percent) which recorded individual submission rates of less than 60 percent.

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