Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State made this known to State House correspondents at the end of a joint meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company and the National Council on Privatisation presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Suswam, who is also the Chairman of the Joint Technical Committee, NCP, said 82 submissions by the shortlisted firms were picked by the Joint Evaluation Committee from about 110 submissions received at the close of bidding.
The breakdown of the shortlisted firms, according to the governor, shows that 46 consortia were shortlisted for the Bariam Power Plant; 44 for Benin; 42 for Omotosho; 41 for Egbema; 41 for Omoku and 39 for Geregu.
Others are 37 shortlisted firms for the Calabar Power Plant; 36 for Ogwurode; 30 for Olaoje; and 30 for Olorunsogo.
The Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, said the next stage was to inform the firms and for them to embark on site inspection and speak with the stakeholders.
The Managing Director, NDPHC, Mr. James Olotu, stressed the need for the shortlisted firms to adhere to stringent rules and regulations, promising that the process would remain transparent.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, and Suswam have alleged that the vandalism of power plants as well as gas pipelines supplying the power plants are politically-motivated.
They said since there was no much economic gain in the vandalism, it could be described as sheer madness and politically-motivated.
Nebo said, “It is important to note that with regards to the bursting of gas pipelines and vandalism of the pipelines that bring gas, there isn’t any significant commercial value behind the action.
“It is sheer madness or may be essentially politically-motivated just to cause damage to the entire country and to Nigerians.
“The ones that we find to be commercially motivated are so very painful . For instance, one of our DISCOs encountered vandalism of its transformers. What they steal from the transformers is copper.
“The recent one that they vandalised, all the copper they collected and that will be sold as scrap was not worth up to N10,000; but in the interim, they have knocked off one million people from power supply, and also of course, it caused the DISCO N27m to fix the damage.
“So, we again appeal to the entire citizenry to be their brothers’ keeper, protect what belongs to all of us, protect Nigeria from these vandals.”
The minister said efforts were on to, in a few days, fix the problem that led to the drastic reduction in power supply in the country over the weekend.
Suswam said, “The efforts and the huge amount of money being expended by the government to ensure that Nigerians enjoy constant supply of electricity is being sabotaged by some unknown individuals, whose motivation is actually not known to anybody, except to say that this is is an act of madness, otherwise any reasonable person should rejoice in the fact that the things that are given to Nigerians should be protected by all Nigerians.
“That is a challenge to the minister to ensure that Nigerians are sensitised and are more conscious on the fact that this electricity is not Jonathan’s electricity, it is electricity meant for Nigerians; so, if you are sabotaging it, you are not sabotaging the Federal Government, you are sabotaging entire Nigerians.”
Information from Punch was used in this report.