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Nigerians not getting value for money spent on electricity: Reps

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The House of Representatives Committee probing the proposed sale of the Nigeria Integrated Power Project (NIPP) by the Bureau of Public Procurement says Nigerians are not getting value for monies paid for electricity.

The Chairman, House Committee on Finance, James Faleke, during the probe instructed the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), to furnish the committee with records of all power evacuated from Azura, from 2015 till date.

“In your opinion as a private citizen, do you think Nigerians get value for money? On behalf of Nigerians we are concerned by the agreements you signed with power generation companies and Nigerians are not getting that power.

“So any documents that have to do with those agreements cannot be said to be classified because whatever money we are paying there is tax payers money, and they will like to know how the funds are being utilised.

“We are interested as a committee to know, the officers in charge of these agencies, who signed agreements on behalf of Nigerians, do they take the necessary things into consideration before signing it,” Hon Faleke said.

Also, Faleke said that it was unfortunate that Nigerians are not getting value for money from these agreements as the power sector has been unable to meet the power needs of Nigerians,

“We hear of all kinds of bailouts that the CBN has made to the power sector without any changes in the power Nigerians receive.

“There are two take or pay agreements that we’ve heard exist in the power sector.

“When they say take or pay, it means that the government agencies here signed agreement with an investor for a fixed amount of commodity, like power to supply to Nigerians.

“In a very simplified form, what this means is that whether the total or the amount, that the agency signed is taken or not, the agency still pays the investor for that fixed amount it signed with the investor.”

He also demanded the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), to provide “tax compliance, payments by all the companies that have signed agreements with those receiving $30 million a month.”

“The situation we find ourselves is very critical. The earlier we get to know this the better for Nigeria. My expectations would be that you provided power and industries are booming, but it’s not there.Not supplying power and being paid for it is share wickedness,” he said.

The committee also interacted with the management of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) where they were they were told give Nigerians the electricity they pay for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hauwa Abu

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