Leadership (Abuja)

2 November 2012

Nigeria: BPE Manipulated Sale of Benin Power Company - Oshiomhole

Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has accused the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) of manipulating the process that led to Benin Power Company being sold to an Indian company Vigeo Power Consortium.

In an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP in Abuja, the comrade-governor stated that the interest of the people was not well served in what he referred to as "undue allocation."

He said: "We know all those behind the facade. We oppose the concessioning of the Benin Power Company not because we have any personal issues to do with the person they allocated it to. The facts are there to speak for themselves. We have invested hugely in that enterprise, and we firmly believe to manage that place very well, the core investor must be very familiar and at home with the environment.

Those in the BPE should not be indifferent to these realities. There is no way someone else can do it better than those who are on ground; who know the nitty-gritty of it all. He who wears the shoe knows where it pinches."

On whether the Edo governor does not believe in privatisation, Oshiomhole insisted he believes in it "100 percent", saying: "I am one person who firmly believes in privatization. My take is that the federal government should completely hands-off managing such enterprises as the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and fully allow capable hands to do so.

But in doing so, the feelings of the people, especially those in whose domain the enterprises are located, must be taken into consideration especially as the investor cannot go it alone."

On the controversy generated by the governor's insistence that those who kill should be killed, Comrade Oshiomhole said: "We are talking about cases where even the convicts themselves have confessed to committing murder. And contrary to what some people are saying, we are only going to deal with cases that have been determined by the final arbiter - the Supreme Court.

It surprises me that some people living in some foreign land will insist I have to be guided by their values or toe their line. I do not believe their values are superior to mine especially when we are guided by the laws of the land in what we set out to do."

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