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BPE warned against mistakes in selling Afam, Yola Discos as 19 firms bid

Considering the observed inability of existing electricity investors to really pump in the needed fund to lift Nigeria out of the virtuous circle of power failures, leading analysts in the industry, Dr. Mahmud Haruna has called for caution in the planned sale of Afam Power Company and the Yola Distribution Company (YDC).

Our correspondent gathered that although YDC was successfully privatised and handed over to the core investor in 2013, a force majeure was declared in 2015 by the core investor citing insecurity in the North-east region of the country.

In an interview over the weekend, he argued that “The key challenge facing many of the power concessionaires’ has been paucity of funding which they covered up during the bidding process with shrouded documentations which were not carefully verified by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) before declaring them bid winners”.

“Some of us in the industry are worried why upon declaring a bidder as a winner, the first public appearance will be to tell Nigerians that funding is an issue. This means that BPE did not do due diligence very well.

Late last week, the BPE disclosed that no fewer than 19 firms have indicated interest to acquire the Afam Power Company and the Yola Distribution Company (YDC) already put up for sale by the federal government.

While seven companies submitted bids to buy Afam, 12 others submitted for the acquisition of the Yola Disco, at the close of the submission of bids for the Expression of Interest (EoIs) for the two power companies.

According to the Head, Public Communications of the Bureau of Public- Enterprises (BPE), Amina Othman Tukur, said the bidding companies were renowned players in the power industry.

She made the observations shortly after the 1 p.m. deadline for the submission of EoIs for the two companies on September 26, 2018.

Tukur said the evaluation committee earlier set up by the BPE to scrutinise the bids had been inaugurated by to commence work.