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    Wednesday, May 10, 2023

    FG Approves Transcorp as Preferred Bidder for Abuja Disco

    Olufemi Adeyemi

    Vice president Yemi Osinbajo presenting Transcorp Power with a Certificate of Discharge… PHOTO: Twitter/ProfOsinbajo

    Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Transcorp Power has been approved as the preferred bidder for the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).

    He spoke on Tuesday at the commissioning of the Afam three-fast power plant in Oyigbo LGA, Rivers state.

    Osinbajo said the approval was given by the national council on privatisation (NCP).

    The politician described the development as a significant breakthrough in the country’s power sector — an industry he said has been lacking private-sector finance.

    “A major breakthrough of our privatisation process, which of course, as you know, started in 2005-2006, was and has been inadequate of private investments and real cash injections,” he said.

    “From the time we started, an indigenous firm such as Transcorp Power and Heirs Holding have been making significant investments such as this 100 percent acquisition of installed capacity Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited, jointly referred to as Afam GenCo. The acquisition cost, I am sure you have heard already, is N105.3 trillion.

    “Only yesterday, the national council on privatisation (NCP) formally delisted Transcorp Power Plc, formerly known as Ughelli Power Plc, from routine monitoring and evaluation by the BPE, indicating yet another successful power investment.

    “I can say the last few days belong to Transcorp Power because at the meeting of the national council on privatisation (NCP), the council approved Transcorp Power Consortium as the preferred bidder of the acquisition of the Abuja Distribution Company.”

    Similarly, the Chairman of Transcorp Group, Mr. Tony Elumelu, who promised to continuously invest in the sector, said: “We all know the importance of power in Nigeria, we all experience the consequences of power deficit, implications for our people, our businesses, our schools, our hospitals and our institutions. Therefore, I am proud today that we have been able to put together so many key stakeholders.

    “Why am I proud and happy, I would like us to tell a success story out of Nigeria. A story that can be repeated over and over again if government, community and the private sector work together as we have worked together here at Afam.

    “The Transcorp Group Partnership began in November 2020.  When we signed the Afam power, share sale, and purchase agreement at a ceremony presided over by the Vice President of Nigeria. The journey has not always been easy but we have delivered, capacity recovery, plant investment, infrastructure improvement, excellent community relationships, and a transformed and motivated Nigerian workforce. We are fulfilling our promises to the government.

    “Transcorp Group, is a stakeholder in the power sector, we recognize power is the single most critical factor to lifting our people out of poverty and enabling job creation. It is a sector that has been a strategic priority for us since the inception of our journey at Hairs Holdings. Why is it so, it is because to do well, is to do good. Power is a public good, a right, and a catalyst for a better Nigeria.

    “I am delighted to welcome you, Mr. Vice President to the inauguration of this project; it is a testament to your legacy as chairman of the National Council of Privatisation and reinforces our country’s confidence in the ability serious-minded private sector leader to drive economic growth and progress.

    “Transcorp has since inception in 2006 laid the way in demonstrating the success of successful revitalization programmes. Transcorp executed the largest capacity recovery in the privatisation power sector in Nigeria by increasing generated electricity of Transcorp power plant in Ugheli by 60 megawatts to over 6080 within five years. We transformed.

    “I call on the Federal Government to please resolve the gas and power evacuation challenges that exist in this region so that the capacity we are covering in the plants is optimized for the good of Nigerians.”

    He said: “I want to use this opportunity to urge the incoming administration also to improve gas supply to our industry and our Afam plants, ensure the completion of the 330 KVF tubor circuit Afam/Ikot Ekpene transmission lines which will increase the capacity of Afam corridor. And success has been built on the partnership with our host community.”

    Earlier in his remarks, Rivers State Head of Service, Dr. Rufus Godwin, who represented Gov. Nyesom Wike, thanked the Vice President for his love and commitment for the wellbeing of Rivers people and Nigerians at large, stating that “the VP has become a son of Rivers and is welcome to the State anytime.”

    Also, the President of General Electric in Nigeria, Muhammed Mijindadi recalled how on some difficult occasions in the process of delivering the project, the US-based company sought the quick interventions of the Vice President.

     He said: “The Vice President promptly intervened several times,” he disclosed adding that there were times when things were proving rather difficult. He praised the VP, the late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, the BPE, and Ministers of Power and Finance, for their support.”

    Dignitaries at the event were the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Mr. Temitope Fashedemi, who represented the Minister, and the Director General, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh, among other officials.

    In December 2021, United Bank of Africa (UBA) took over AEDC over the inability of its major stakeholder, Kann Consortium, to service the $122 million debt owed to the bank.

    Kann Consortium had secured a loan from UBA to acquire AEDC in 2013, making it hold a 60 percent stake in the DisCo.

    However, in April 2023, the bank said it would sell AEDC to recover the $122 million debt.

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