The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) Thursday approved the sale of a 70 per cent stake in the 1,320 megawatt Egbin power station to a Korean firm, KEPCO, which is partnering with local energy firm Sahara Energy, for $407.3 million.
This was one of the outcomes of Thursday's meeting of the NCP chaired by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, at the close of which Amperion, a consortium that was selected the preferred bidder for Geregu power station, was confirmed to have paid $33 million, including N519.12 million into the NCP account, representing 25 per cent of the bid price for the power utility.
One of the members of the Amperion Consortium is Forte Oil Plc, a quoted oil marketing firm in which businessman, Femi Otedola, has considerable interest. Akin Akinfewa, Chief Executive Officer of Forte Oil, confirmed the payment of 25 per cent for Geregu.
Chairman of the Technical Committee of NCP, Atedo Peterside, who briefed journalists said the Egbin plant was currently valued at over $600 million, more than the $549 million it was valued at in 2007 when the Federal Government began negotiations to sell only 51 per cent equity of the plant.
Also, apart from Egbin, the government approved the sale of Omotosho and Olorunshogo power plants to Chinese firms which have made considerable progress in their construction work at the plants.
Peterside said the plants were offered for $166m, adding that except for the Afam plant, "every other power plant owned by Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) now has a core investor."
Another matter deliberated by the NCP yesterday was the report of the progress being made by the Attorney-General of the Federation on the arbitration delaying the privatisation of the Ajaokuta steel plant and Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON),
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Sani Sada, said the feuding parties had their initial meeting trying to settle out of court and held some useful discussions.
He added: "We are beginning to see that very soon we are likely to conclude some of those issues, such that BPE will take full charge of these two important facilities and are appropriately privatised, not the way it happened before that is now raising all these issues.
"This time, it will be in such a way that they will come back to contribute the way that they are expected as major industrial backbones of the Nigerian economy."
The Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Mobola Johnson, also announced the NCP's approval of five draft bills for onward transmission to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for further approval.
They are for reforms of the inland waterways, ports, railways, road sector and the establishment of the National Transport Commission.
Equally approved was a NIPOST reform bill, that would enable the postal agency return to its role as an operator. With its passage, the functions of regulator will be separated as a Postal Commission will be created to act as the regulator.