Our attention has been drawn to inaccurate media reports alleging illicit financial transactions between the previous Rivers State Government led by Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the Sahara Group.
Sahara Group states that the reports are misleading and a rehash of previous allegations for which Sahara has since provided detailed clarifications (Pls see link: https://www.sahara-group.com/cg/rivers-state-government.pdf)
Sahara Group hereby states the following for the record:
Upon assumption of office in May 2015, H.E. Governor Nyesom Wike led administration instituted a panel in June 2015 to review the sale of Rivers State assets by the previous administration. The Commission was chaired by the Hon. Justice George Omereji, (Please see https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/185373-rivers-governor-wike-sets-up-committee-to-probe-amaechi.html).
As part of the process, Sahara Group was invited to appear before the panel and was asked to provide evidence of payment for the 70% stake in First Independent Power Limited (FIPL) which it acquired from the previous administration in a transparent arm’s length transaction.
The judicial commission published a white paper report that erroneously indicated an outstanding balance of $28.4 million due from Sahara with respect to the transaction.
Sahara disputed the claim and a reconciliation committee, chaired by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice was subsequently formed to confirm the payment records.
The committee confirmed and verified the receipt of all payments made by Sahara.
We urge our stakeholders to disregard misleading reports in the media as the records as verified by the Rivers State Government show due process was strictly followed by Sahara in line with the Rivers State Government (RSG) internal process, following which Sahara emerged as the preferred purchaser for 70% equity in the State owned Power company; First Independent Power Limited.
Full payment was subsequently made by Sahara for the asset in line with the purchase agreement.
The reports of illicit transactions are not new and are the same allegations that were reviewed and subsequently cleared by the Judicial Commission led by Hon. Justice George Omereji and the Reconciliation committee comprising the Attorney General and the Commissioner for justice.
The Sahara Group remains committed to supporting the growth and maturation of emerging economies, through critical investments that drive economic growth responsibly. To this end, we continue to support and work with the Rivers State Government as development partners to improve the economy and quality of life for the good people of Rivers State and its residents
Sahara Group reiterates its commitment to integrity, corporate governance, and transparency in our operations. These values continue to drive the success of the Sahara Brand for over 25 years in keeping with global best practices and bringing energy to life responsibly.