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Reps panel summons CBN, DisCos over $321m, N18bn loans for electricity projects

Reps panel summons CBN, DisCos over $321m, N18bn loans for electricity projects
November 03
11:47 2023

The house of representatives public accounts committee has summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) over the alleged mismanagement of the $321 million and N18.2 billion loans.

Bamidele Salam, chairman of the committee, issued the summons when Sule Abdulaziz, the managing director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), appeared before the committee on Thursday.

The loans were said to be designated for accelerated transmission and distribution interface, lines, and substation projects.

Salam demanded detailed information regarding the loan disbursements, procurement processes, and the involvement of DisCos in the projects.

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The lawmaker said the current status of the projects, and the loan repayment structure from the beneficiaries should also be provided.

He stressed the importance of ensuring that public institutions adhere to the law and international best practices, while ensuring the judicious utilisation of funds.

Responding to the committee, Abdulaziz, said the funds were transferred directly to the DisCos by the CBN for the execution of various projects, with the intention to repay the loans using TCN’s revenue.

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He said there was a gap in the electricity sector, which led to complaints from distribution companies regarding inadequate supply from TCN.

Consequently, the TCN boss said, the need arose to invest in critical projects to enhance the distribution of electricity to Nigerians.

“The financial institutions and regulatory bodies, such as CBN and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), were involved in the financing and oversight of these projects,” Abdulaziz said.

“TCN played a beneficiary role, while the DisCos were responsible for executing the projects.”

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The TCN boss added that loan repayments were intended to come from TCN’s revenue — amortised monthly.

Salam, therefore, asked the CBN and DisCos to appear before the committee on Tuesday, November 8, 2023.

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