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Osinbajo: FG Ready to Resolve Tariff Shortfalls in Power Sector

todayAugust 22, 2022

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*Tells electricity board to protect interests of ordinary citizens 

*BPE says four Discos successfully taken over

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has assured Nigerians that the inauguration of a board for the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) would enhance ongoing efforts to resolve liabilities relating to tariff shortfalls for distribution companies, among other challenges plaguing the nation’s power sector.

The company has been running without a duly constituted board since the first one was inaugurated in 2013 and dissolved shortly after.  
Speaking at the weekend, at the virtual inauguration of a  new 10-man board for NELMCO in Abuja, Osinbajo stressed that the inauguration marked an important milestone in the bid to resolve the liabilities relating to tariff shortfalls in the power sector (specifically for Distribution Companies), and to provide a veritable mechanism for managing the very dynamic nature of the liquidity challenges of the power sector in Nigeria.
According to him, “this ceremony formally brings on board the invaluable skills and experience of notable and highly respected personalities as members of the Board of NELMCO.”

On what was expected from the new board, the vice president told members that, “as a board, you are expected to make conscious and deliberate efforts to develop appropriate strategies to facilitate the successful conclusion of the outstanding pre-privatisation issues of the defunct PHCN, and ensure an effective implementation of NELMCO’s additional mandate to resolve the tariff shortfall problems of the Electricity Distribution Companies.

“In view of the challenges ahead, you are expected to draw extensively on our experience over the years, to continue to give credence to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s economic development programme in a transparent, sustainable, credible and acceptable manner.    
“The Board is required to take appropriate steps to also ensure that the interests of the various segments of our society, particularly the ordinary citizens, are protected in the implementation of NELMCO’s mandate.”

Commenting on the board’s mandate, Osinbajo charged members to diligently carry out the responsibilities assigned to the board in accordance with the provisions of the Memorandum and Articles of Association (MEMART) of the Company.
Some of the provisions of the MEMART of the company include: To assume and administer the stranded debts of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Plc pursuant to the provisions of Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.  

To manage post-privatisation liabilities in the power sector as may be directed by the National Council on Privatisation or any authorised agency of the federal government from time to time in line with the power sector reform act 2005.  
Responding on behalf of the members, the Board Chairperson and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, assured the vice president of the board’s preparedness to ensure quick resolution of tariff shortfalls and related issues in the power sector in the most efficient manner.

Other members of the board include the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu; Director General of Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex Okoh; Director General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms. Patience Oniha; Managing Director of NELMCO, Mr. Bayo Fagbemi and Mr. Muhammad Aliyu Jumma’a.
It also included Mr. Olufunso Olutola Olukoga; Dr. Chinedum Orisakwe; Mojoyinoluwa Dekalu-Thomas and Dr Nurain Hassan Ibrahim.

In a related development, the BPE Director General, Mr. Alex Okoh, has said the take-over of four electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) namely that of Kaduna, Kano, Ibadan and Port Harcourt has been concluded successfully.
Okoh, who disclosed this in a presentation made at a virtual meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), added that the challenge in the takeover of the Benin Disco was being addressed.

The NCP is chaired by the vice president who was represented at the meeting by Ahmed, who also doubles as the Vice Chairperson of the Council.
In his report to the Council, the BPE DG also made a presentation on the concession of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant, inviting NCP to note steps taken by the Bureau to fast track the process.  

Okoh thereafter presented for approval a proposal to amend the Procedures Manual of the BPE, especially in the areas of legal framework; reform activities; pre-transaction activities; project advisory and delivery team; receipt of technical and financial transaction strategies, and opening and evaluation of technical proposals, among others.

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