BPE Under Fire: Reps Ask Hard Questions on TCN, Power Assets Sale

  • Manitoba Hydro-Electric International Co Ltd was awarded the management contract of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, against its Nigerian subsidiary, Manitoba Hydro-Electric Nigeria Ltd.
  • The House Committee believes that TCN assets were undervalued before its sale
These are some of the issues the Ahmed Yerima led House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Investigation of Power Assets, have with the sale process of the TCN among other power assets.

The logic behind undervaluing assets prior to sale or the decision to sell to a foreign company when it could have been sold to the Nigerian subsidiary is difficult for the committee to grasp and rightly so, but the BPE says due process was religiously followed.

Ahmed Yerima had requested from the Director-General of the BPE, documents on the value of the assets of the TCN and other power stations sold by the agency so his committee could go through and understand the situation better.
The memorandum submitted by the representative of the Director General at the hearing, Mr Amechi Aloke a Deputy Director in the agency, showed that the TCN assets were undervalued prior to its sale.
In their defence, the BPE said that there was a public advertisement that called for expression of interest, as it was standard practice, before the pre-qualification of the company as the preferred bidder.
He told the Committee that Manitoba International Company Ltd. of Canada became their preferred bidder after the pre- qualification and bidding of four companies that was done transparently.

Mr Amechi Aloke also stressed that the standard practice was to award the contract to the company with the lowest bid but with the requisite experience. He said that the BPE was true to this tenet in awarding the contract.

Still not convinced by the BPE, the Chairman and the committee members requested for the letter of no objection from the other companies that participated in the bidding of the TCN assets before the sale. This would enable them verify the claims of the BPE and ascertain the transparency of the process.

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