The deadline for the preferred bidders for 14 power generating and distribution companies slated for privatisation by the Federal Government will expire today amid confusion over the status of the alleged payments made by some of the intending investors.
As of 9.30pm on Tuesday when this report was being compiled, the Bureau of Public Enterprises had yet to confirm the claim of payment of the outstanding 75 per cent of the bid prices for the respective firms as claimed by some of the preferred bidders on Monday.
Our correspondent had kept tab with the BPE to know the companies that paid up before the deadline, but up till the time of filing this report, the organisation could not confirm that any of the potential investors had actually paid.
Some of the preferred bidders, however, said they had paid the outstanding sum, but the BPE could not confirm this.
The Head of Communications, BPE, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe, told our correspondent that he could not ascertain whether any of the investors had cleared the outstanding sum until he obtained a confirmation from the accounts department today (Wednesday).
“Some of them said they have paid, but I cannot confirm that until the accountant gives me the details.” Anichebe said.
The chief executive officer of one of the preferred bidders told our correspondent on Monday that some of the firms had made the necessary payments.
The source, who pleaded not to be named said, “We have started making payment despite all the odds and we hope the transition will be seamless.”
The BPE had also insisted on Monday that the Federal Government was not considering any form of extension to the August 21, 2013 deadline set by the National Council on Privatisation for the preferred bidders to pay the outstanding 75 per cent of the bid prices for the respective assets.
On whether the government would extend the deadline, Anichebe had said, “We are not considering an extension, and that means that by August 21, being Wednesday, they are all supposed to have paid. So, to my knowledge, there is no extension.”
The preferred bidders for the distribution companies had last week asked the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, to plead with the Federal Government to extend the deadline to September 21 because their lenders were requesting for more time to raise the needed funds.
Information from Punch was used in this report.