Governors seek briefing on $5.8b Mambilla Power Project
HOW Nigeria will get out of the crippling energy crisis which appears intractable has been put on the front burner in the last 72 hours by the government.
Accounts of the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) are to be subjected to forensic audit by the Federal Government.
Besides, governors have invited Minister of Power Sale Mamman to provide details of the ongoing work at the $5.8 billion Mambilla Hydro Electrical Power Project which will supply 3,050 megawatts on completion.
The National Economic Council (NEC) after yesterday’s meeting, said the recommendation by the Nasir El-Rufai committee on the review of the ownership status of the DisCos on forensic audit was adopted.
Edo State Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu told reporters after the meeting, that the forensic audit of all DisCos’ accounts would ascertain the level of investment into the assets they acquired.
According to him, the El-Rufai committee requested for another two months so, it could tidy up issues surrounding the task given it, one of which is getting state governments to come up with their expenditure on the power companies.
“NEC received an update on the review of the status of ownership structure of the electricity power distribution companies. The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, briefed NEC on the progress so far made and responses so far received from the general public.
“He also told NEC that forensic audits will be carried out on all the bank accounts of all DisCos and also that the state governments are to provide details of their investments in the electricity distribution companies.
“The committee also sought the approval of NEC for additional time to complete the report in two months and for the state governments to file reports of their investments in DisCos.
“You all know that the issue of privatization is still questionable but nonetheless, the federal government and governors feel we should not lament, what we should do is look for solution. Because if government laments the populace will definitely lose hope.
“So they need additional two months so that when they are reporting to council it will be holistic so that the Council decision will be made to deal with the issue of the DisCos”, he said.
The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) meeting on Wednesday night, decided to seek more information on the Mabilla Power Project according to the communiqué read by its chairman, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi.
He said: “The forum received a presentation from Hypertech Nigeria Ltd on the 3050MW Mambila Hydro Electric Power Project (MHEPP). The team highlighted that the project was executed between the Federal Government of Nigeria and China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC).
“The team gave an overview of the huge potential that is lying fallow in the Mambilla region which governors appreciated, but insisted that a presentation by the Ministers of Power and Water Resources would provide more granular pathway to what needs to be done.”
Last week, the Power minister said he had submitted a report to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) that the DisCos are the weak link in the power chain.
He said they have not improved on what they met after taking over in 2014.
According to the minister, while about 13,000 megawatts are generated, about 7,000mw are transmitted but the DisCos are only able to take about 3,000mw.
He said the FEC will take a decision on the DisCos.
But the DisCos rejected the minister’s claim, saying the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) cannot wheel 7000mw.