The House of Representatives has summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) and contractors over $321 million and N18.2 billion loans for the accelerated electricity transmission distribution interface, lines and substation projects
The chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Bamidele Salam issued the summons when the managing director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engr Sule Abdulaziz appeared before the Committee on Thursday.
Salam who insisted that those invited to appear next week Wednesday, said a petition was received on the lack of judicious use of the funds, which were paid to the DISCOs by the CBN on prompting of the TCN.
The TCN Boss, Abdulaziz who told the Committee that the funds were paid directly to the DISCOs by the CBN to embark on the various projects, said the repayment of the loans was from the revenue of the company.
But chairman of the Committee, demanded that the TCN should provide details of disbursement of the loans, procurement process, how many DISCOs were involved, the stage of the projects, and the structure of the repayment of the loans to the beneficiaries of the loan.
Salam said: “Sometime in 2021 the then president Muhammadu Buhari granted that certain funds be made available for the purpose of enhancing the capacity of our transmission and distribution lines to be able to have a more robust power sector intervention and these funds were made available for certain projects to the distribution companies.
“It is the concern of the petitioner that the fund have not been judiciously used and that the project ought to have been delivered by now upon which we caused a letter to be written to the Transmission Company of Nigeria which also sent in a response stating the status report of the project as well as the procedure for the implementation of that loan disbursement and execution of the project by the distribution companies.
“Our concern is to ensure that all our institutions work well in accordance with the law and in accordance with global best practices and to ensure money is judiciously utilised.”
Responding, Abdulaziz said there was a gap in the electricity sector and the distribution companies were complaining that the TCN was not giving them supply.
He said there was a need to invest in some projects so that the distribution companies would be able to distribute light to Nigerians.
“But it was observed that TCN does not have that amount to do those projects, so the FGd involved the CBN as the people to finance the projects.
“NERC being the regulator now is the one leading the exercise. TCN is just a beneficiary of the project. It is signed by the DISCOs. In TCN there is a Project Monitoring Office that was set up to do this procurement,” Abdulaziz said.