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Nigeria Governors Ask FG to Put Proposed Privatisation of 10 Generating Plants on Hold 

Nigeria’s state governors have resolved to ask the federal government to put the process of privatiaing 10 National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) across the country on hold till further notice.

Nigeria’s state governors have resolved to ask the federal government to put the process of privatiaing 10 National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) across the country on hold till further notice.
The governors want the processes to be put on hold in order to review it and communicate their position to the federal government on what they considered critical national assets.
This was based on the fact that states currently own a total of 53 per cent equity in the NIPPs while the federal government owns 47 per cent stake.
The governors after their meeting in a communique signed by the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi said after receiving a detailed presentation by the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Alex A. Okoh, the governors resolved to review and communicate through their board representatives, their assessment and position on the proposed privatisation.
The communique added: “On the National Social Register and the Rapid Response Register as critical tools for rolling out cash transfer programs, members received a presentation from the National Coordinator of the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Mr. Iorwa Apera.”
The communique stated that the governors also listened to the World Bank Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri on the rollout of a bank’s financed $800 million facility designed to fund a large scale conditional cash transfer (CCT) program in the country.
According to the communique, the governors thereafter resolved that each state governor would establish and Chair a Steering Committee to oversee the CCT initiative to ensure that the program aligns with the vision of the state.
On the strategy to build a sustainable Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) for state governments that would also be capable of clearing outstanding pension liabilities, the communique stated that the governors listened to a presentation by the Chief Executive of AVA Capital, Mr. Kayode Falasinnu, and resolved 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 CPS 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,” it added.

On the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSRA) Bill 2021 which had passed its second reading at the Senate, the communique revealed that governors listened to a presentation from the Chief Executive of New Hampshire Capital Limited, Mr. Odion Omonfoman, on the implications for state governments, adding that the governors  thereafter set up a Committee comprising the Governors of Edo and Lagos State to scrutinise the new bill and advice the forum on a position that would ensure that the proposed legislation,  when signed, would be a tool to strengthen the course of policy direction, design and implementation of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI),  and address critical issues in the country’s power sector.

It further stated that the governors received a presentation from Dr. Nicky Okoye, Founder, Nicky Okoye  Foundation and representatives of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and  Investment, on the African Enterprise Initiative: a roadmap to reposition Nigerian  businesses for the global marketplace through a suite of strategies such as the  accreditation and verification of SMEs across the country to form a database for  incentives, and the establishment of community enterprise clinics, funding strategies  and bootcamps.

According to the communique, the NGF States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS)  Program Manager, Olanrewaju Ajogbasile provided an update on the SFTAS program, highlighting 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.

The communique added: “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; the enactment, publication and implementation of a Consolidated Revenue Code (CRC); enactment and implementation of a public procurement law, as well as the use of e-procurement in at least four (4) 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 congratulated the Anambra State government on the successful conduct of its governorship election and the launch of the Umueri Cargo Airport project, both of which will contribute to peaceful governance transition and additional economic and social opportunities for the people of the State.

Chuks Okocha in Abuja