The House of Representatives has directed relevant committees to investigate the sale of non-core assets of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) which were transferred to the Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) prior to the liquidation of PHCN.
The House also directed its Committee on Power to investigate the billing system of electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) across the country, following complaints of over-billing by the populace amidst poor power supply.
To this end, the representatives mandated its committees on Power and Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) to ascertain the methodology deployed for the liquidation and whether such properties were well valued.
The two committees are expected to ensure full compliance in the case of PHCN’s non-core properties that had not been sold, and at the same time ensure that the proceeds from the sales are transferred to the federal government.
The committees are expected to conclude these assignments and report back to the House within four legislative weeks.
According to a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by the member representing Nkanu East/Nkanu West federal constituency of Enugu State, Hon Chukwuemeka Ujam, all non-core assets of the PHCN were transferred to NELMCO for disposal in line with the Electric Power Sector Reform Act.
Ujam noted that these non-core assets, worth several billion dollars and spread across the country and the world, were supposed to be valued and then transferred for sale or put to use in order to recoup the investments in the defunct PHCN.
According to Ujam, some of these non-core assets belonging to the defunct PHCN are either lying fallow or diverted.
“At a time when the country is facing economic recession, with calls for the sale of government assets, some of these properties have been leased at undervalued rates while some have been given away as gifts to electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs),” said, and called on the House investigate the development.”
In the same vein, the lawmakers decried outrageous electricity bills by DISCOs across the country.
The lawmakers, while deliberating on a motion sponsored by the member representing Ajeromi/ Ifelodun federal constituency, Hon. Rita Orji, on the disconnection of electricity supply to Amukoko Local Council Development Authority (LCDA), bemoaned the lack of transparency in the electricity billing system.
The LCDA was disconnected by the by Eko Electricity Distribution Company over alleged non-payment of electricity bills described by the council as outrageous.
The member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor federal constituency, Hon Fred Agbedi, noted that Bayelsa State residents have been burdened with outrageous electricity bill without regular power supply.
Agbedi added that his area had been suffering irregular supply of electricity since it joined the national grid.