House of Representatives has asked the federal government to halt every arrangement towards the privatisation of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), the only remaining power generating company wholly owned by the three tiers of government.
The House directed the Committees on Power and Privatisation and Commercialisation to investigate the planned sale of the National Integrated Power Plants (NIPP) of the NDPHC and report back to it within four weeks for further legislative action.
The resolutions suspending the planned sale of NIPP followed the adoption of a motion under matter of urgent public importance brought by Hon Kayode Musbau (APC, Lagos), wherein he called attention to the danger of selling off the remaining national assets in the power sector, even though the distribution companies so privatised have not lived up to expectations.
This is even as the lead committee on power has written to the director-general of the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) inviting the agency to appear before the joint committee for an investigative hearing.
Titled: “Need to Investigate the Planned Privatisation of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Power Plants”, the lawmaker while presenting the motion noted that the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) is a public asset that can’t just be sold off without proper explanations as to the benefits of such privatisation after expending taxpayers’ money to establish them.
“In 2005, the National Council of State and the National Assembly approved initial funding of US$25 billion for NIPP from the Excess Crude Oil Account (ECOA) which statutorily belongs to the federal, state, and local governments.
“The Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) is the legal vehicle vested to manage the NIPP for its shareholders — the federal, state and local governments.
“In 2013, the federal government announced the proposed privatisation of some NIPP power plants which are owned by the NDPHC, with a plan to reinvest the proceeds from the company in developing renewable power generation projects, however a myriad of challenges that bedeviled the power sector mitigated against the effort,” the lawmaker said.
Following the resolution, the lead committee on power in a letter dated July 1, 2021 as seen by journalists invited the leadership of the BPE to appear before it for explanations at an investigative hearing on Tuesday 13th July, 2021.
The letter with reference number NASS/9/HR/CT.87/148 was signed by the chairman, Hon Magaji Da’u Aliyu (APC, Jigawa), and referred to the resolution of the House on the subject matter, just as it demanded the presence of the agency with relevant documents for legislative scrutiny.
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