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The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has said that it is alarmed by the over insistence of Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on pushing the plan by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to sell the Ihovba, Calabar, Geregu, Olorunsogo, and Omotosho power plants.
The Coalition in a statement signed by its Director of Strategic Communication, Samaila Musa, said the move will shortchange the northern part of the country.
CNG recalled that on 13th July, 2021 it categorically declared the plan to privatise the Calabar, Ihovbor, Olorunsogo, Omotosho and Geregu power plants, held by Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC), as unacceptable and a deliberate attempt to marginalise the North.
The statement reads: We had alerted of a grand conspiracy by powerful interests in the South taking advantage of the Vice President’s position as Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC), the National Council on Privatization (NCP) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to sell these assets and further diminish the economic viability of the northern region.
As the representative of various interest groups from Northern Nigeria, the CNG raised concerns that the funds used in establishing the said plants was contributed by States and local governments including those in the North.
We appeared before a House of Representatives public hearing on the issue and declared a definite stand against it and insisted on respecting the initial agreement of rotating the projects between the South and the North after stipulated terms.
We recall that the National Assembly had even made a pronunciation against the purported sale of the assets.
Despite all these patriotic efforts by the CNG and other well meaning Nigerians, the Vice president has remained adamant in pursuing this dubious Privatisation agenda aimed at further pauperizing the North economically.
We are also worried that the VP is allegedly planning to sell the plants to himself, friends and cronies to the detriment of NIgeria especially the North in the name of funding a deficit budget.
Particularly disturbing is that due to the Corvid 19 devastation, assets such as these ones have greatly lost value and would only be sold at a great National loss.
The CNG insists that the power plants’ equity through NIPPs are owned by States and LGAs alongside the Federal Government which was designed and implemented in the South and eventually to be replicated in the North.
We reject in its totality any such plan to dispose of the plants without replicating same in the North as per the initial agreement.
We demand for the Northern versions of plants to be immediately established as agreed in 2004 when NIPPs was established.
We demand Northern federal lawmakers to stand firmly against this attempt at mortgaging the future of the North.
Northern Governors must demand that their States’ equity would not be plundered.
We condemn with all our might, this blatant illegality, unconstitutionality and abuse of office by the supposedly learned professional such as the vice president.
For the avoidance of doubt, the CNG is prepared to go to any length to challenge this cruel, unfriendly, greatly biased and irresponsible policy.