Reps summon CBN, DISCOs, contractors over ‘misuse’ of $321m, N18.2 billion
File Photo: House of Representatives
Published By: Michael Adesina
By Femi Ogunshola
The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 11 Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in connection with alleged mismanagement of the US$321 million and N18.2 billion loans.
The loans were designated for accelerated transmission and distribution interface, lines, and substation projects.
Rep. Bamidele Salam, Chairman of the Committee, issued the summons during the appearance of Engr. Sule Abdulaziz, Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), before the committee in Abuja on Thursday.
These entities were asked to appear before the committee on November 8.
The investigation was prompted by a petition regarding the alleged misuse of funds, which had been disbursed to the DISCOs by the CBN at the request of the TCN.
Salam demanded detailed information regarding the loan disbursements, procurement processes, the involvement of DISCOs in the projects, the current status of the projects, and the loan repayment structure from the beneficiaries.
Salam emphasised the importance of ensuring that public institutions adhere to the law and international best practices while ensuring the judicious utilization of funds.
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Appearing before the Committee, Abdulaziz clarified that the funds were transferred directly to the DISCOs by the CBN for the execution of various projects, with the intention of repaying the loans using TCN’s revenue.
However, this repayment arrangement has raised concerns within the committee.
He explained that there was a gap in the electricity sector, leading to complaints from distribution companies regarding the inadequate supply from TCN.
He said, consequently, the need arose to invest in critical projects to enhance the distribution of electricity to Nigerians.
According yo him, the Financial institutions and regulatory bodies, such as CBN and NERC, were involved in the financing and oversight of these projects.
He said the TCN played a beneficiary role, while the DISCOs were responsible for executing the projects.
He added that loan repayments were intended to come from TCN’s revenue, amortized on a monthly basis.