Federal High Court Abuja’s order Tuesday, December 4, 2014, retraining the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, from transferring the controversial Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, KEDC, to the preferred bidder, Northwest Power Limited, NPL, fell on deaf ears due to the impunity of the Bureau for Public Enterprise and their co-travellers in their quest to take over by all means under the previous administration led by the PDP where money meant to fight insurgency was shared leaving the ravaging areas at the mercies of Boko Haramism. We never expected that the act of total disregard to court injunction would be witnessed in the dispensation that seems to be in-tandem with the yearnings and aspirations of the people.
However, we are astounded and flabbergasted that the court injunction regarding the increase in the pump price of fuel from N86.5kobo to N145 without doing adequate consultations with relevant authorities would respected; same our GEJ did that raised so much high blood pressure and unnecessary politically motivation agitations across Nigeria. Hmmm! The difference between the acid and water is truly in the bathing.
It appears that APC is in squabbles and quagmires with the right direction in governance. As many are clamoured for the defeated of the PDP in embrace to change at all costs, what we have today, instead, is electricity tariff hike to now fuel pump price, Baba Buhari yaya dei?
The court order was on the request of the reserved bidder, Leda Consortium Limited, following the refusal of the BPE to invite it to complete the Share Purchase Agreement of the KEDC, after the failure of Northwest Power Limited to pay the remaining 75 percent of its bid price after several extensions of the deadline was never respected, thereby changing goal posts several times when the match is already on. The PMB administration well known for tackling corruption and impunity, which brought about the Dausukigate, must extended this fight to the obnoxious PHCN privatisation exercise which many Nigerians described as a sharing of the national asset.
According to a copy of the court order seen by this writer, after listening to the arguments of counsels to the plaintiff and that of the defendant, the court ruled that both parties should “maintain status-quo with regard to the subject matter of the suit pending the determination of the defendant notice of preliminary objection was just a mere say to the power that be; thereby violating the order from a competent court of law is a national embarrassment to the Nigerians and the entire workforce of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, which Leda had approached the court after what it termed BPE’s “brazen violation of set contractual obligation,” and the BPE’s plan to perpetually extend the deadline for North-West to complete the payment of the bid price is uncalled for; no one can tentatively say whether or not the remaining 75 percent is paid fully or not.
This government must do the needful in this regard by making the receipts of payments for all DISCOS available to the public, so that this corruption crusade of PMB can be taken seriously or else, it may be termed selective. Because, in its originating summon, the plaintiff asked the court to “declare that the defendant cannot arbitrarily and/or repeatedly extend the time prescribed for payment of the 25 percent initial deposit considering the sale of the Kaduna Disco and the 75 percent balance in favour of any or (preferred) bidder without regard to the inputted contract in the bid process on the bases of a uniform rule set by BPE.” But this was never heeded simply because, if there is someone fronting and backing you, it is difficult for a tsetse fly to bite you uncontrollably without being killed; someone must have stood for the NPL.
It also asked the court to rule that “any belated payment of the bid price of the Kaduna Disco by any or the preferred bidder after the expiration of the specific time is void as against the reserved bidder and constitute a breach of contract by the defendant.
The plaintiff also asked the court for “an order setting aside or annulling any belated receipt of payment by the defendant of the 75 percent balance of the bid price from any or the preferred bidder.” The court ruled that it would hear the defendant’s notice of preliminary objection together with the substantive suit on December 12, 2014, and could not deter the BPE from the controversial handing over. Today same Kaduna DISCO has sacked many staff verbally and nobody is giving an explanation, probably the yardstick used in the mass sack. Kaduna Electric, on taking over, has sacked their workforce more than any other DISCOS since the controversial handing over by BPE.
The high temperature up to the 2015 general election has come and gone. PMB has assumed office as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; so the APC government must not forget to pay homage to those courageous Nigerians who made sacrifices of their times and resources to ensure that Buhari becomes president of the most populated nation in Africa. Now the ball before Buhari’s court is to ensure that the right pegs are put in the right holes by demonstrating genuine leadership style that will correct the wrongs of the previous administrations.
The vast political task before the APC government is in the area of power generation and distribution. Nigerians are yearning to see the change mantra translate into positivism in all sectors of the economy; so, no stone should be left unturned in this quest for a better and flourishing Nigeria.
On the economy, everyone knows that PMB has a gigantic task before him. And it appears that Buhari has not recognised that he who controls the power sector and the labour market controls the economy, hence the power sector should not be left in the hands of the politicians.
There pertinent question among Nigerians is: “Does President Buhari have the political will to deliver on his campaign promises? This is yet to be seen. And to possibly recover government property from those who diverted national assets to themselves in the guise of privatisation, as stated by the governor of Cross River State, Mr. Ben Ayade, “It is totally unacceptable.” Buhari may not have the full knowledge of what is happening in DICOS, TCN and GENCOS under his watch because, all is not well in the privatisation, as so many DISCOS staff are short-changed in the payment of severance package. For instance, some who have spent between one and five years collected less than a million naira and are disengaged from service. Many have been sent to the labour market that is highly saturated. Time to act is now or never!
The former director-general of BPE must give a lot of explanations to this sheer wickedness. APC as a party must not deceive Nigerians if people like these are still working freely without being prosecuted accordingly.
President Buhari should also know that the power sector investors are starving Nigerians of electricity with so many communities without power supply, and they have also embarked on massive sacking of Nigerians and replacing them with their children whom they pay outrageous money as salary at the expense of the masses. Is it the change that Buhari/APC promised us?
Buhari must know that those cabals that cornered the PHCN assets are generating billions of naira every month and using it to build their political get-together. Buhari must uproot them now by carrying out a comprehensive and vehement review of the process. The federal government should do the needful in the electricity industry since the sector is capable of generating more than 15 billion naira monthly. If Buhari wants the continuity of APC at all levels of governance in Nigeria, he must abolish casualisation and ensure that Nigerians are employed on permanent basis.
The credibility of President Buhari in the fight against corruption is questionable if people whom the Senate ad-hock committee said “you have compromised” are still working under the presidency. President Buhari must hear this and in necessity order those responsible to provide all the PHCN monies, since PMB is adamant about the privatisation. As at this moment many members of PHCN staff are yet to be severed, 10 percent equity not paid, and 16 months allowance yet to be paid. Training allowance not left out.
Many young men and women who have not spent up 5 years in the service are disengaged why? Power sector is the heart beat of the Nigerian economy just like the petroleum; it must not be left in the hand of politicians who do not have the expertise and the wherewithal to manage it. And if these great nationalists below had privatized it, ‘would we have met any?
Adanu wrote via [email protected]

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