December 6, 2022

POWER SUPPLY: Reps probe N4.014trn debts by Togo, Benin, Niger Republics

By Levinus Nwabughiogu

Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives, has resolved to probe the over N4.014 trillion revenue/debt owed to the FederalGovernment bysome international electricity customers, which include Republics of Togo, Benin and Niger.

The committee also summoned the Managing Director of Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET Plc, Dr. NnaemekaEweluka for explanations on the debts.

The notice was contained in a letter by Chairman of the Committee,Oluwole Oke.

The letter demanded the physical appearance of Eweluka alongside Dr. Marilyn Amobi, who served as MD/CEO from 2016 to 2020 to justify the reason for non-rendition of the Audited Accounts for the year 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, on December 8, 2022, to defend the accounts laid before the Parliament by the oAuGF.

He said: “Assessment of the External Auditor’s report for the year 2019, showed that the company has paid N3.03 trillion out of the total invoices of N4.014 trillion received from generating companies as at 31/12/2021, while the distribution Companies have paid N1.308trillion out of N3.773 trillion as at 31/12/2021. This situation has adversely affected the liquidity required of the companies to meet its obligations.

“The total outstanding invoices due from DISCO is N2.4 trillion and estimated interest receivable is N931billion based on interest rate of NIBOR+4%.

“Produce a schedule showing the value of invoice raised by generating companies from 2016 to 2022, amount paid by NBET and the outstanding balance as at date.”

“Provide a schedule showing the value of invoice issued to Distribution Companies from 2016 to 2022, amount paid by them and the outstanding balance.”

Similarly, the lawmaker unveiled plans to revisit the investigation into the oAGF’s audit report on the utilization of N1.3 trillion loan facility granted by Federal Government to NBET.

“External Auditor’s report revealed that the company was granted a loan facility to the tune of N701 billion in 2017, while additional N600 billion was granted in the year 2019 by Federal Government of Nigeria.

“The company’s ability to meet its obligation is dependent on continuous support from the FGN. This is not sustainable. This is the ground upon which the External Auditor reported in the Audited Accounts that its opinion was not modified on this matter. Page 26 of the submission reflected that the company’s borrowing stood at N772 billion as at 31/12/2019,” he said.

The committee chairman added that the NBET Managing Director should also provide the detailed utilization records of the two credit facilities, loan repayment schedule showing how much It has repaid and the unmatured principal and interest.

On the possible non-compliance with procedure of disposal of government asset, he observed that the “review of Statement of Cash Flow confirmed that the sum of N7.5 million represented proceeds realized from the disposal of Property Plant and Equipment in the year 2019. Also, the review of Fixed Asset Schedule revealed that the Motor Vehicles worth N69.9 million was disposed.”