Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh has said that the Investors Roadshow for the concession of the 700MW Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant (ZHPP) is in continuation of the Federal Government’s drive to achieve a power sector that fully serves the needs of the citizens of Nigeria to unleash their potentials and engender socio-economic development to meet global standards.
The Director General who said this on Thursday, November 10, 2022, when the Bureau hosted the virtual investors roadshow, noted that the aim is to attract private sector innovation, efficiency and technical capacity in the operations of the hydro power plant.
“The essential objective of this roadshow is therefore, to interact with potential investors, answer questions, provide clarifications and generally address all concerns from the prospective Investors with regards to the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power transaction”, he stated, adding that the forum would also highlight the potentials in the Nigerian power sector and provide a platform for prospective investors to understand the process for the concession of the plant.
Okoh added that it would also enable investors to adequately assess the benefits of their participation in the process and make informed decisions.
Giving a background to the project, the Director General said the Federal Government was actively collaborating with the EXIM Bank of China to construct the plant and that following discussions between BPE and Federal Ministry of Power (FMoP), the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) at its 7th meeting for the year 2020, held on December 21, 2020, approved the commencement of the concession of ZHPP.
He said the key objectives of the concession of ZHPP include:
· Leveraging private sector’s access to finance and reducing reliance on government budgetary allocation to operate and maintain the facility;
· Ensuring efficiency maintenance culture, innovation and technical knowhow of the private sector in operating the ZHPP; and
· To transfer the burden of repaying the loan received from Chinese Exim bank to the private party.
Okoh revealed that given the urgency and priority of the Federal Government for the quick completion of the ZHPP concession, a revised workplan was prepared, envisaging the completion of the transaction by March 2023. He thus, solicited the full support and cooperation of all stakeholders for the expeditious conclusion of the transaction according to the timelines.
While commending President Muhammdu Buhari for his support towards repositioning the Nigerian Power Sector, Vice President and Chairman of the NCP, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and Members of the NCP for their support and guidance in implementing the Federal Government’s reform initiatives as well as members of the Project Delivery Team (PDT) for the Hydros concession for their commitment, the Director General announced that the next step in the concession process is the preparation and submission of Request For Qualifications (RFQs) by bidders on or before Thursday, November 24, 2022. He added that it would be immediately followed by the evaluation of the RFQs and shortlisting of potential bidders who will be issued Request For Proposals (RFPs).