Governors to review proposed privatisation of power plants by FG

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The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has resolved to review the federal government’s plan to privatise 10 generating plants under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).

Describing the power plants as critical national assets, the governors said they would review and communicate through their board representatives, their assessment and position on the privatisation of the plants.

This resolution was sequel to a presentation by the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Alex Okoh, at the Forum’s 13th teleconference meeting.

Details of the discussions were contained in a communique issued by the NGF chairman, Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday.

Currently, states own 53 per cent equity in the NIPPs while the federal government owns a 47 per cent stake.

Following the government’s proposal to privatise 10 of the generating plants, the House of Representatives in July, called for a suspension of the plans to sell the plants – owned by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited.

They asked that the plan be put on hold until the lingering issues on the firm’s ownership were resolved.

But the BPE assured that the plants put up for sale would go on as planned.

Other matters arising

The NGF also resolved to devise a better strategy to build a sustainable Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) for state governments.

This, it said, will also be capable of clearing outstanding pension liabilities.

The governors agreed that the settlement of all outstanding pension obligations should be included as part of the social compact with citizens for the removal of fuel subsidies.

“With respect to the required legal and institutional changes required to facilitate a successful CPS transition in all states, State Commissioners of Finance will be mandated to ensure that States meet the guidelines for the implementation of Contributory Pension Schemes by State Governments, including the enactment of a pension law, the establishment of a pension board and the adoption of a transition framework for each State,” part of the statement read.

On the National Social Register and the Rapid Response Register as critical tools for rolling out cash transfer programs, the Forum resolved that each state governor will establish and head a Steering Committee to oversee the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) initiative to ensure that the program aligns with the vision of the state government.

The communique further revealed that the NGF States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) Program Manager, Olanrewaju Ajogbasile, provided an update on the SFTAS program.

This programme shows that all states met the eligibility criteria for the program by publishing their 2021 budgets and 2020 financial statements online and as at when due.

“Governors committed to ensuring that Disbursement Linked Results (DLRs) due by the end of December 2021 are achieved.

“These include the enactment and implementation of an audit law, enactment, publication and implementation of a Consolidated Revenue Code (CRC), enactment and implementation of a public procurement law, the use of e-procurement in at least four MDAs (including Education, Health and Public Works) and the enactment of a state-level debt legislation in the remaining states where these results have not been achieved.”

The governors also resolved to write a book detailing their experiences.

Each governor will write a chapter (in their own words) in a flagship compendium that the NGF Secretariat is putting together in collaboration with Joe Abah.

The book, they said, seeks to draw on the personal experiences of governors in the spirit of the States Peer Review Mechanism.

“It will feature practical ideas, solutions and approaches to solving difficult governance challenges in Nigeria for the benefit of incoming governors, academics and members of the public,” the statement highlighted.

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