The Bayelsa State Government on Thursday denied acquiring $250m stake in a private power distribution company, 4 Power Consortium.
But the government in a press briefing after its Executive Council meeting in Yenagoa said the state only bought two per cent shares into the power company.
The Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Ikio Francis, refused to disclose the financial implication of the two per cent investment.
He said: “The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has two per cent in the company. The Bayelsa Electricity Company has two per cent. I only know about two per cent. Anybody who says it amounts to $250m is peddling rumour.”
Despite prodding by journalist, Ikio held his ground, refusing to disclose the amount.
The briefing came shortly after opposition accused the government of poor investment decision, wondering how it committed such amount for just two per cent interest.
Opposition also claimed that the government paid the amount to cover other influential persons in the state who bought shares in the company.
But Ikio debunked claims that the government paid too much for too little.
He said: “To say that we don’t have control over the company is wrong.
Control over a company depends on your shareholding. I don’t know the sum paid. I will restrain myself from talking about the figure. The records are there.”
He said the state got involved in the deal as an investor, adding that the people of the star would reap the future benefits of the investment.
“Our investment is not wasted. There is hope that 4 Power will change the service delivery in the state,” he said.
Ikio was joined at the briefing by the Commissioner for Information, Deacon Markson Fefegha and the Commissioner for Capital City Development, Mr. Zuwa Konugha.
Fefegha said that details and records of the transaction were domiciled in the Bayelsa Investment Development Corporation.