The Federal Government on Friday approved the extension of the concession periods of the Tin Can Island Port and the RORO Terminals of the port by five years each.
The extension was granted during the first meeting of the National Council on Privatisation for the year which was presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Benjamin Dikki, told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that for the Tin Can Island Port, the extension of concession period was granted based on an application by the concessionaire, Joseph Dam Port Services Nigeria Limited.
He said when the lease was granted to the concessionaire, there was a court case that dragged on for over four years that restrained the firm from taking over and conducting its obligations of the contract.
In the case of the RORO Terminals, Dikki explained that at the time Five Star Logistics got the lease, there were other obligations that government was committed to like dredging of the ports and mending of some of the collapsed parts of the ports which have not been done.
“The National Council of Privatisation reviewed the matter holistically and has graciously granted a five-year extension to Five Star Logistics in respect of the RORO Terminals in Tin Can Island,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, also said the council had directed the BPE to move immediately with the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies and look into all issues that have come up during the privatisation of the power sector.
Such issues, he said, included those of genuine Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s workers who have not been paid their pensions.
He said the money of those under that category has been kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to ensure that they are paid after ongoing verification exercise.
Igali said the Federal Government was closely monitoring the new owners of the power sector in order to ensure that they deliver stable power to Nigerians.
He said, “We want to assure Nigerians that we are monitoring the new owners closely. It is about three going to four months now since they took over. Within this period, we have seen a bit of trying to settle down. We just ask for a bit of patience from Nigerians.
“We are looking at their books, we are following them. Mind you, in all these transactions, government is still on their boards, they are now operating privately but we are still represented on their boards and we track and monitor them.”
He regretted that power installations across the country are currently facing what he described as unprecedented massive scale vandalism.
Igali said, “As at today, the Minister of Power is outgoing about the Western axis and Delta area. Last weekend, we lost 15 towers, 330KVA, not the small towers you see around but the huge ones we lost 15 of them. No country experiences that kind of thing.
“We lost 15 towers in the forest where nobody will be guiding and the security agencies are out trying to track what happened and some people have been arrested. This is money of Nigerians providing services to Nigerians, why some people will go and bring them down, we don’t understand.
“Last week, we lost a major 150 MVA transformer, huge equipment that cost billions of naira. It is being investigated to know the cause of investigation. So there is a massive scale of vandalism that we have never seen. Even in the Delta axis there was a major blow up in one of the main arteries pipeline, two big spots.”
Igali therefore called on all Nigerians to join hands in fighting vandals.
He said the ministry was working hard to meet the President’s directive that Nigerians must see visible changes in power supply by second half of the year.