From Ndubuisi Orji and Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to investigate the status and sale of non-core assets of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) transferred to the Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company(NELMCO) prior to the liquidation of PHCN.
Consequently, the House mandated its committees on Power and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to ascertain the methodology that was used for the liquidation and whether such properties were well valued.
The committees were also mandated to ensure full compliance in the case of PHCN non-core properties that have not been sold and that proceeds from the sales are transferred to to the coffers of the Federal Government, and report back to the House within four legislative weeks.
This is sequel to a motion brought before the House at yesterday’s plenary by Hon Chukwuemeka Ujam (PDP,Enugu).
Moving the motion, Ujam said in 2011, all non-core assets of the PHCN were transferred to NELMCO for disposal in line with the Electric Power Sector Reform Act.
He noted that these non-core assets worth several billion dollars and spread across the country and the world were supposed to be valued and then transferred for sale or put to use in order to recoup investments in the defunct PHCN.
The lawmaker expressed concern that at a time when the country is facing economic recession, with calls for the sale of government assets, some of these non-core assets belonging to the defunct PHCN are either laying fallow or diverted.
He added that some of these properties have been leased at undervalued rates while some have been given away as gifts to electricity Distribution Companies(DISCOs) and called on the House to investigate the development.
Speaking on the motion, the Deputy Speaker, Hon Yussuff Lasun, who presided at yesterday’s plenary said because the motion was calling for an investigation, it would not require any debate “so we don’t pre-empt the investigation.”
Meanwhile, the members of the House also decried outrageous electricity bills by DISCOs across the country.
The members while contributing to debate on a motion by Hon Rita Orji (PDP, Lagos) on the disconnection of electricity supply to Amukoko Local Council Development Authority of Lagos State by Eko Electricity Distribution Company over alleged non-payment of outrageous electricity bills.
Hon Fred Agbedi(PDP,Bayelsa)said since Bayelsa State join the national grid, residents of the state have been saddled with burden of outrageous electricity bill. He said his residence in Yenagoa is given an electricity bill of N250000 monthly whether or not any power is consumed in the house or not.
At the end day debate, the House resolved to mandate its Committee on Power to investigate the billing system of DISCOs across the country.
The committee is also to delegate its members to Amukoko to ascertain the situation on ground so as to avert s breakdown of law and order in the area over the issue.