By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE House of Representatives, yesterday, mandated its Committee on Power to probe into reports that the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, diverted $9 billion which it received from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The committee is also expected to dig deeply into the construction of 10 power plants and into other areas.
The company is also being accused of selling National Integrated Power Project, NIPP assets, including power plants, in addition to awarding numerous inflated contracts without due process.
The committee is expected to conduct an investigative hearing involving all relevant stakeholders to identify any constitutional breaches and ascertain the veracity of reported infractions by the NDPHC and report back to the House within six weeks for further legislative action.
The resolutions were reached following a motion sponsored by Mark Gbillah (Benue APC) who alleged that the company has continued to pay outrageous amounts as wayleave payments to communities with significant cost implications to the government.
Gbillah said the company which manages the utilisation of over $12 billion already approved by the National Assembly and the National Council of State since its incorporation in 2005, does not submit its annual budget and project plans for appropriation by the National Assembly.
“It generates an operating surplus which cannot be determined because it is neither divulged nor paid into the coffers of the Federal Government but rather expended by the company without legislative approval,” the lawmaker added.
“Also alarmed at the lack of completion of the 10 power plants awarded by the NDPHC since 2006, though a few of the plants have been completed and handed over since 2010 but a local contractor, Rockson Engineering has refused to hand over four power plants it was awarded in controversial circumstances and appears to be holding the Federal Government to ransom over the completion of the plants while the equipment and infrastructure continue to experience wear and tear due to the protracted delay,” Gbillah added.