The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on Tuesday assured protesting traders operating at the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFC) that there are no plans by the Federal Government to sell the outfit.

According to the Bureau, the facility would rather be concessioned through a competitive transaction process to make it more efficient.

Spokesperson for BPE Amina Tukur Othman, who disclosed this in a statement, said the government has procured the services of Messrs Feedback Infrastructure Services to advise on the way forward for the proposed concession.

“It is apt to inform the public that the Bureau on Friday, March 1, 2019, met with the entire Traders’ Associations to explain the essence of the planned Concession.

“It would be recalled that the Bureau had on August 23, 2017, placed a Caveat Emptor in some national newspapers in the country wherein, it stated that the lease agreement that was hitherto executed by the FGN in favour of Aulic Nigeria Limited had been validly terminated and possession reverted to the FGN with effect from 23rd day of August 2017.

“Members of the public were therefore warned that “any purported allotment, buying, selling, letting, leasing, charging, and subdivision, construction upon or dealings in connection with the said property and parcels of land in any other manner however without the written permission of the FGN represented by the BPE is unlawful, illegal, fraudulent and amounts to trespass,” she added.

The statement further warned that any person(s) interfering with the said parcels of land “stand to lose their money as the FGN through the BPE will neither honour agreements, contracts or arrangements entered into with person(s) purporting to have authority to transact the property and or parcels of land whether in the manner described or in any other manner whatsoever nor will it re-imburse any monies paid in respect of such transaction.”

In another development, the BPE said five bids were received on Friday, March 15, being the deadline for the submission of technical and financial proposals for the acquisition of the Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC) and Afam Electricity Generation Company (Afam Power Plc & Afam Three Fast Power Limited) by prospective core-investors.

Two firms, Quest Electricity Nigeria Limited and Sandstream Nigeria, submitted proposals to acquire the Yola Disco while DiamondStripes Consortium, Unicorn Power Generation Consortium and Transcorp Power, sought to acquire the Afam Genco.

Sandstream submission was, however, found to be non-responsive as it failed to include a bank guarantee in line with the requirements in the Requests for Proposal (RfPs). Accordingly; the representative of the firm took the bid back.

Speaking at the event, Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr Alex A. Okoh, assured the bidders that the evaluation of their bids would be subjected to the highest level of integrity culminating into the financial bids opening of the successful bidders.

Okoh said the Evaluation Committee would meet immediately to discuss and finalise the scoring criteria before commencing the evaluation process on Monday, March 18 and end on Thursday, March 21.

It would be recalled that 19 firms had indicated interest to acquire the Afam Power Company and the Yola Distribution Company (YDC) put up for sale by the Federal Government at the close of the submission of bids for the Expression of Interest (EOIs) at 1 pm on Tuesday, September 26, 2018.

The request for expression of interest in the two companies was published by the BPE in national newspapers on August 16, 2018 and after evaluation of the EOIs, 11 firms qualified for the next stage but only the five were successful.

It would be recalled that although Yola Distribution Company was successfully privatised and handed over to the core investor in 2013, a force majeure was declared in 2015 by the core investor citing insecurity in the North-East region of the country. Following this, the company was duly repossessed by the Federal Government. The transaction for Afam Power Generation Company on the other hand fell through due to the delay in signing the Gas Supply Agreement (GSAA) and the Gas Transportation Agreement (GTA).

In 2017 the National council on Privatisation (NCP) gave approval for a fresh transaction to privatise the two power companies.

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