FG hands over Afam power plant to Transcorp – Newstrends
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FG hands over Afam power plant to Transcorp

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The Federal Government has handed over the Afam Power Plant in the Oyigbo Local Government of Rivers State to Transcorp Power Consortium, which emerged the preferred bidder of the power asset, with a bid offer of N105.3bn.

This is coming as the Group Chairman of Transcorp Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has said that access to electricity is central to Nigeria’s economic growth.

The handing over of the Afam Power Station followed the fulfilment of the requirement of the request for proposal (RfP) and approval granted by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) after Transcorp had paid 25 per cent of the bid amount (N26.325 billion), a condition precedent to the handing over.

At the ceremony marking the final consummation of the transaction in Abuja yesterday, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex Okoh, said it was a significant milestone in the process of the privatisation of the last successor generation company of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and a culmination of several years of painstaking efforts by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the BPE in the face of daunting challenges.

Okoh added that sequel to the previous failed attempts to privatise Afam Power Plc and the approval granted by NCP for the recommencement of a new process, the bureau had commenced a free, fair and transparent competitive process of the privatisation of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited, which culminated in Transcorp Power Consortium emerging as the preferred bidder with a combined offer of N105,300,000,000.

He stated that after negotiations, which were impacted, among others, by the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government, through the BPE signed the Share Sale and Purchase Agreement (SSPA) with Transcorp Power Consortium on November 5, 2020.

He said, “In line with the requirements of the RfP and approval granted by the NCP, Transcorp Power Consortium paid 25 per cent (cash) of the bid amount today November 26, 2020, which was a condition precedent to the current activity of handing over.

“Distinguished guests, I must add that my emphasis on cash payment is to correct some misinformation in the media that purported that the Afam deal is a mere reconciliation of figures between the federal government and Transcorp. For the benefit of those who wish to know, this idea was never accepted by both the NCP and its several sub-committees.

“However, with the payment of the money by Transcorp to the treasury today, we hope this unfounded and concocted information being fed to the public would stop.”

He added that the challenges facing the electricity sector in Nigeria are enormous, and it was convincing that the opportunities are far greater and certainly worth exploiting.

He noted that the federal government has demonstrated commitment to create the enabling environment encourage private sector investors to take on these challenges and the opportunities therein to ensure quality and cost-effective service delivery to electricity consumers while also receiving adequate compensation.

While congratulating Transcorp Consortium for emerging the winner, he thanked other bidders for their faith in the process, the government and economy despite the trying times.

The challenge now, he stated, is for Transcorp Consortium to use its proven capacity and pedigree as demonstrated with Transcorp Ughelli Power Plant and Transcorp Hotel, Abuja to transform Afam Power into an exemplary utility company of reference.

Okoh, who gave a synopsis of the power sector privatisation journey, said change did not come easy, adding that the reform is necessary for laying a solid foundation for sustainable electricity supply, loss and cost-reduction as well as service efficiency in the sector other ventures.”

In his remarks, Elumelu said the event was an epoch, adding that access to electricity is central to economic growth.

Elumelu cited the contraction of the nation’s gross domestic product in the third quarter by 3.6 per cent as part of the pitfalls of a poor power base.

He noted that getting the power sector right is one of the elements needed to correct the negative economic trend.

Elumelu, assured the people that Transcorp Power Consortium will improve the nation’s power situation, create jobs and better the lot of its host communities.

He added that the confidence reposed in the company by the federal government would not be taken for granted.

He said Transcorp possesses the human and financial muscles to meet the expectations of the federal government and Nigerians.

Railway

Apprehension as passengers train derails in Kaduna

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JUST-IN: Abuja-Kaduna train terails, passengers stranded

A passenger train on Sunday derailed at Jere along the popular Abuja-Kaduna route, leaving the travellers stranded in the mountainous area.

The train was said to have left Kaduna at 8.05am heading for Abuja but developed fault about an hour later and stopped at Jere.

It was not immediately clear how many passengers were inside the train.

It was however learnt that more armed security personnel had been mobilised to the area in addition to those on the train to allay the fears of the passengers and their family members.

Senator Shehu Sani, in an alert raised on his verified X handle, stated, “A Kaduna morning train derails near Jere but engineers are attending to it.”

Workers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation have been drafted to the spot to repair the train, with about three carriages off the tracks.

Security personnel, including soldiers and police officers, are also on the spoke to keep watch over the passengers and the train.

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Lanre Shittu Motors to roll out high-tech CNG buses next month

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Lanre Shittu Motors to roll out high-tech CNG buses next month

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Lanre Shittu Motors Ltd, Taiwo Shittu, says the company will next month (June) roll out Compressed Natural Gas-powered buses across the country to ease public transportation.

According to him, the move is fallout of the Presidential CNG initiative (Pi-CNG), as part of palliative intervention of the Bola Tinubu administration to provide succour for the masses after fuel subsidy removal.

The LSM MD who spoke recently from Havard Business School, expressed delight at a number of measures taken by the current government towards rejuvenating the various auto assembly plants in the country with specific attention to CNG buses to boost public transportation.

Following a presidential directive that CNG buses must be a priority and preferred mode of transport by the various ministries, departments and agencies, he said the government had shown its determination to encourage the local auto assembly plants.

Taiwo Shittu said during the telephone interview that by June 2024, Lanre Shittu Motors would be deploying large units of the LSM branded CNG buses in airports across the country and for other mass transportation needs.

He disclosed that LSM mulled the idea of CNG vehicles and saw it as the future of the local automotive industry many years ago because of the abundance of natural gas in the country as well as the economic benefits of CNG buses to both operators and commuters.

Taiwo Shittu assured that there are plans to start assembling LSM-branded CNG buses in Lagos using the best technology like in other parts or the world.

Apart from assembling CNG vehicles from start to finish at the LSM plant, he said the company has enough kits capable of converting petroI-powered automobiles to the CNG vehicles.

He assured prospective customers of quality after-sale maintenance of any stock rolled out from the LSM assembly plant.

For over 40 years., LSM through the visionary founder and chairman, Late Alhaji Lanre Shittu, has carved an enviable niche within the automotive industry through its quality products and services.

Taiwo Shittu said introducing the LSM-branded buses was one of the many ways of immortalising him.

He said, “We have taken proactive steps in the past years to offer quality training to our technicians at various stages, levels and categories of auto assembly and after-sale maintenance services.

“Upon graduation and certification, the technicians are also deployed not only in the various LSM offices nationwide, they are also being sought after by other industry stakeholders within the nation’s automotive value chain.”

The management of Lanre Shittu Motors says that all branches of the company are currently fully equipped with state-of-the-art CNG conversion equipment while orders have been activated and running seamlessly.

Meanwhile, the first set of CNG vehicles will be inaugurated during the present administration’s first anniversary on May 29, 2024.

The Federal Government allocated N100 billion from the N500 billion palliative budget to purchase 5,500 CNG vehicles (buses and tricycles), 100 electric buses, and over 20,000 CNG conversion kits.

This funding also supports the expansion of CNG refilling and electric charging stations.

 

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Naira falls to N1,515/$ on parallel market

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Naira falls to N1,515/$ on parallel market

The Naira yesterday depreciated in the parallel market to N1,515 per dollar from N1,495 per dollar on Wednesday.

Similarly, the Naira depreciated to N1,485.66 per dollar in the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market, NAFEM
Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for NAFEM rose to N1,485.66 per dollar from N1,462.59 per dollar on Wednesday, indicating N23.07 depreciation for the naira.
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The market recorded an intraday high of N1,510 per dollar and an intraday low of N1,401 per dollar, resulting in a bearing of N109 per dollar.

The volume of dollars traded (turnover) increased by 35.7 percent to $167.55 million from $123.45 million on Wednesday.
Consequently, the margin between the parallel market and NAFEM rates narrowed to N29.34 per dollar from N33.59 per dollar on Wednesday.

Naira falls to N1,515/$ on parallel market

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