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NERC absolves NBET MD of fraud, says no proof of N2bn over-invoicing

NERC absolves NBET MD of fraud, says no proof of N2bn over-invoicing
March 01
15:10 2019

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says there is no proof that Marilyn Amobi, managing director of the Nigeria Bulk Electricity trading Plc (NBET), overpaid two power plants by N2 billion.

In a statement, the commission said its investigation revealed that the payments to Olorunsogo and Omotosho power plants by NBET are in line with the power purchase agreement, while the allegation of fraud raised by the petitioners could not be substantiated.

Documents obtained by Leaks NG had alleged that Amobi, who was made the substantive MD of NBET in July 2016, was also involved in a series of corruption allegations such as subversion of board approvals and infraction of procurement laws.

Leaks NG is Nigeria’s collaborative investigative platform, comprising eight leading newsrooms, including TheCable.

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But NERC said Amobi did not commit any act of illegality.

“The attention of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (“NERC” or the “Commission”) has been drawn to the allegations of fraudulent payments to the Olorunsogo and Omotosho power plants by the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc. (“NBET”) as widely reported in the press and other news media,” NERC said.

“The Commission initiated the conduct of an investigation of the alleged N2Billion overpayment by NBET to Olorunsogo and Omotosho power plants pursuant to the powers of the regulator to approve Power Purchase Agreements NBET executes with generation companies and the imperative to maintain the integrity of the electricity market.

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“In conducting the investigation, the Commission interviewed top management of NBET who are involved with the management of PPAs, as well as the petitioners, Mallam Waziri Bintube and Mallam Abdullahi Sambo over a period of two days.

“The findings of the Commission’s investigation are as follows. Payments made by NBET to the 2 power plants were done in compliance with the NERC TEM Order pursuant to the provision that sanctity of existing agreements be maintained.

“Mallam Waziri Bintube and Mallam Abdullahi Sambo were unable to substantiate any claims of overinvoicing to the tune of N2Billion each month by NBET in the payments to these 2 power plants constituted a crime during their interviews; and could also not provide further evidence to substantiate any form of inappropriate payments being made to these two power plants as they had alleged.

“The Commission hereby confirms that capacity payments to the Olorunsogo and Omotosho power plants by NBET are in line with the Power Purchase Agreement executed between the contracting parties and the provisions of the Supplementary TEM Order by the Commission. The public is therefore advised to discountenance the allegations of inappropriate payments to the Omotosho and Olorunsogo power plants
through the reported over invoicing of N2Billion in the payment of monthly capacity charges by NBET.”

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