The Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) may be in for a raw deal as the upper legislative chambers has decided to probe the sale of 10 National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) because it believes the process was faulty.
The planned probe of the sale is sequel to a motion by Senator Mohammed Hassan (Yobe South) and five others on alleged “Unwholesome practices by Manitoba Hydro International Nigeria Limited under the direction and control of the BPE.”
Manitoba is a Canadian company contracted to manage the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
The Senate on Thursday mandated its joint committee on Power and Privatisation to investigate the sale with a view to resolving the issues involved.
Citing Section 20(5) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act, 2007, Hassan said it is an offence any person or corporate body to refuse the acceptance of Naira as legal currency tender.
“We are worried that the TCN is imposed with this burden, under the management Services Contract, of paying all taxes for the management contractors while Manitoba does not pay taxes on monies paid under the contract.
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“The Management Service Contract prepared by BPE for the management of TCN is fraught with apparent illegalities and total violation of the laws of Nigeria.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje lamented that the entire privatisation exercise seemed to be a failure.
Goje noted that the idea of the exercise was to empower the private sector to make power more stable in the country.
He said that there seemed to be no difference between the pre-privatisation and post-privatisation era.
Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who summed contributions by Senators, said that it was unthinkable how a government agency would decide to wave $3billion and sell the projects for $5 billion after an over $8 billion investment.
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