The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in relation to accusations of mismanaging loans amounting to US$321 million and N18.2 billion.
The loans were allocated for projects aimed at expediting the development of transmission and distribution interfaces, lines, and substations.
Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Bamidele Salam, issued the summons while Engr. Sule Abdulaziz, Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), appeared before the committee in Abuja on Thursday.
These entities were asked to appear before the committee on November 8.
An inquiry was initiated following a petition addressing the purported misallocation of funds that the CBN had allocated to the DISCOs at the behest of TCN
Speaking on the details of the inquiry, Salam insisted on receiving detailed information pertaining to loan disbursements, procurement processes, the involvement of DISCOs in the projects, the current project statuses, and the loan repayment terms for the beneficiaries.
Salam stressed the crucial need for public institutions to adhere to legal and international best practice standards, coupled with the responsible management of financial resources.
During his Committee appearance, Abdulaziz made it clear that the funds were sent directly to the DISCOs by the CBN to support the execution of various projects.
The aim was to repay the loans using TCN’s generated revenue.
He explained that there was a gap in the electricity sector, leading to complaints from distribution companies regarding the inadequate supply from TCN.
He claimed that financial institutions and regulatory bodies, including the CBN and NERC, played a role in funding and supervising these projects.
He added that loan repayments were intended to come from TCN’s revenue, amortized on a monthly basis.