The House of Representatives committee on Power has threatened to halt approval of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) 2021 budget proposal until it pays all outstanding debts owed to the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
Chairman of the committee, Rep. Magaji Da’u Aliyu (APC, Jigawa) disclosed this after the submission by the REA Managing Director, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad.
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He said that one of the impediments being faced by his agency was the inability to get the operating surpluses from NERC as expected under the law.
It is expected that NERC should turn over all market surplus arising from licensing and fines against operators in the electricity industry to the REA to facilitate its operations of providing electrification to rural dwellers in Nigeria.
However, it was discovered that NERC had not been providing the funds to REA which the lawmakers said was in contravention of the commission’s establishment Act, as well as the Act which established REA.
Chairman of the committee, therefore, ruled that NERC must first issue a cheque to the REA before the Committee would consider approving its 2021 budget proposal on Wednesday.
“I want you and your ED [Executive Director] Finance to come back here tomorrow at 11: am.
“We will tell them that you’re here because of them and we will ask them where is your money.
“They will be made to issue a cheque to you here.
“Otherwise, we will not consider their budget, because what they have done is against the law”, he said.