Chairman, Technical Committee, National Council on Privatisation (NCP), Mr Atedo Peterside, Tuesday said the Federal Government had fixed January 31, 2013 as deadline for submission of fresh bids for Afam Generating Company (Genco) and Kaduna Distribution Company (Disco) whose bids were earlier cancelled in the ongoing privatisation of the successor companies of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Giving an update on the power privatisation programme at the maiden Annual National Workshop of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS), in Abuja, he said all power privatisation transactions, including five Gencos and 10 Discos were expected to be completed by the middle of next year.
This came as the acting Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Dikki, also yesterday said government contract with Manitoba Hydro International remained intact.
He added that payment would soon be made to the company.
But, Peterside however, said only companies which were pre-qualified and met the technical qualification criteria of the BPE would be eligible to place bids for the two companies.
The NCP had suspended bids for the Afam Genco privatisation after it was revealed that the former Power Minister, Bart Nnaji, had links with one of the consortia which bided for the plant.
On the other hand, the Kaduna Disco privatisation was adjudged inconclusive as none of the prior bidders met the technical qualification criteria.
The technical committee chairman said: "Eligible prequalified bidders have been invited to express an interest in Afam Genco and Kaduna disco on or before January 31, 2013. Thereafter, the sale of these two successor companies will proceed. The process for the privatisation of PHCN successor companies has reached an advanced stage. With the selection of preferred bidders we are likely to close the transaction with the preferred bidders for five gencos and 10 discos by mid 2013. Sale of Kaduna disco and Afam genco will conclude later."
Meanwhile, the new acting BPE boss said: "I also want to assure Manitoba that government has approved their contract. Yesterday (Tuesday) the BPE wrote to the ministry of power to process the payment and the minister has approved the payment. In a very short while, Manitoba would be paid."
According to him: "We are in the process of addressing the challenges plaguing the power privatisation process. I want to assure all investors that the federal government is very serious in addressing the labour crisis before they hand over the privatised power companies. Yesterday (Tuesday), the Vice-President called a meeting specifically to address the issues. The Federal Government is committed to resolving the labour issues to ensure that at the point of handover and takeover of the companies there would be no hitches."