N500m Fraud: Senate summons NERC, GENCOs, DISCOs over non take-off of HYPADEC

Senate has said the delay in the takeoff of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Commission (HYPADEC) is no longer acceptable since funds have been released for the final inauguration of the commission.

HYPPADEC was established by the Federal government to among other reasons, plan and implement projects for the physical development of hydroelectric power producing areas and to tackle the ecological problems associated wiith operation of hydroelectric dams in the member states.

Several years after, the commission has not been officially inaugurated, just as the ecological challenges of the member states are not solved.

But Senate has just revealed that funds were earnmarked by the Federal government in the 2016 and 2017 Appropriation Acts and released to the ministry of power, works and housing, for the takeoff of the commission.

Consequently, Senate has mandated its committees on power, steel development and metallurgy and public accounts to summon National Electric Regulatory Commission, NERC, the market operator NBET plc, and the relevant electric distribution companies, DISCOs and GENCOs to render detailed account of funds collected onbehalf of HYPPADEC.

The resolution of the Senate followed a motion by Senator David Umaru (Niger East) on funds accruing to HYPADEC.

Senate however demanded NERC to comply with the provisions of section 32(1)(g) of ESPRA regarding the submission of quarterly reports to National Assembly.

Leading the debate, Umaru stated that the sum of N150, 000, 000 was granted for takeoff of the commission which he said, out of it, N18, 000, 000 was released to the ministry of power, works and housing.

He noted that it is crucial for electricity distribution companies to proffer clear answers to the actual entities that are in custody of the funds to enable the quick take off of the commission.

Senate President Bukola Saraki however, insisted that the legislature will not take chances but handle the matter with all determination to ensure that funds that are due to HYPADEC are properly remitted to it so as to cause immediate inauguration of the commission.

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