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Senate Committee holds interactive session on Power

The Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy had an interactive session with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA)Management, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) Management, National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) Management and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Management.

Senate chamber

The Chairman of the Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe led the opening prayer at 12:58pm. Other Senators present at the meeting were Senator Aliyu Sabi, Senator Lanre Tejuoso, Senator Ahmed Ogembe, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, Senator Ben Murray Bruce and Senator Mustapha Bukar.

The chairman noted that the purpose of the interactive session is to let Nigerians know how the budget will better their lives as regards the implementation of the money allocated to the sector. He also asked the representatives from the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Management to enlighten us all on the implementation of the budget so far

The representative of Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Management stated that their allocation in the budget is N30.2b but what has been released is N4.45b. She also stated that only 12% of the budget has been released so far and most of the money has been spent on completing ongoing projects.

Senator Aliyu Sabi asked what the status of the Rural Electrification Fund is and said it’s disheartening that nothing good can be said about the rural electrification fund.

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Management representative said it is a Public Private Partnership (PPP)initiative and the Rural electrification fund will be used for such Public Private Partnership initiatives.

Senator Lanre Tejuoso asked what informed the projects the money was used for and what was the expected outcome for the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Management choices.

The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Management Representative said the reasons are to focus on ongoing projects to be completed in 2017 and to clear outstanding debts to contractors.

Senator Aliyu Sabi asked if the budget releases have been cashed out which the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Management representative affirmed.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe asked if they think the 12% received is all they’ll receive this year? The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Management representative stated that the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Management hoped that they receive more fundings to carry out more projects.

Senator Mustapha Bukar asked, “how much is your capital budget for 2017?” and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) Management representative said N30.2b.

Senator Lanre Tejuoso asked what is procurement in progress? and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) representative responded and said project in progress.

Senator Ahmed Ogembe stated that this committee should appropriate what the released funds should be used for and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) representative replied to say the focus of the first tranch of money was used for ongoing projects and debts.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said “we want to see progress being made, whichever projects can be completed with the current fund should be done”.

The next leg of the session was with representatives of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe informed the representative of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc that the committee will like to know how much of the budget has been implemented and budget performance so far.

The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc representative said we have received N800,461,714 which was received in two batches in September and we commenced due process of procurement.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said we want to know the percentage of your capital budget received so far and the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc representative replied to say we have received 21% of our budget.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe asked how do you intend to use this, do you want to spread it or you already have prioritized areas?, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc representative said we’ll need to

  1. move into new office space,
  2. Purchase accounting software to replace manual calculations
  3. Reduce cost of procurement and went further to say due process must be followed in utilization of funds.

Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi stated that the revenue profile doesn’t align with the expenditure profile and states his fears and the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc representative said while waiting for funds, we put out an expression of interest before the money was released with which we compartmentalized work to be done and also stated that moving to the new office is a priority project as it will help save funds that would have been spent on rent.

Senator Aliyu Sabi asked how the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc manages cost? and the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc representative stated that they sign Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with organizations i.e. GENCO’s and DISCO’s

Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi asked the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc representative it’s target as an organisation and the representative of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc replied saying 1.GENCO’s which get 20% of the invoice paid can get up to 80% of their invoices paid as a form of incentive, 2. Our Human Resource is our greatest asset at #NBETPLC so we need to train our staff to give the strength to perform.

Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi asked the challenges faced in acheiving these targets? and the representative from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc replied that we don’t have a reconstituted board and it is the responsibility of the government to do so not the management of the Organization.

The Chairman advised that they work towards achieving their targets for the year and also stated that they should prioritize moving into the new office space so as to avoid paying rent on the space they currently occupy and discharges the delegation from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc.

The next leg of the session is with representative of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN).

The chairman asked what percentage of the capital budget has been released and the representative from the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) stated that 20% has been released.

The Chairman advised that they should complete any ongoing project and stated that the committee is supportive of them doing the needful. The chairman of the committee discharges the delegation from the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN).

The last leg of the session is with representative of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC).

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC) representative stated that their 2017 appropriation is N1.8b. He also said there are no funds to enable them move into new office space. He went further to say that the money is necessary to partition the office space and buy furniture for the new office.

The chairman of the Committee advised that they move to the new office building as soon as possible as they can’t continue to pay rent.

The chairman of the Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy calls the meeting to an end.


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