JONAS EZIEKE, Abuja
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has said that the House will not relent until all allegations of misuse of N10.08 trillion (about $30 billion) by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) is unravelled.
The Speaker spoke at the opening of a public hearing by an Ad hoc committee of the House, on the alleged Constitutional Breaches, Impunity and other Infractions of the NDPHC), and the Need to Ensure Probity and Statutory Oversight Functions, yesterday said it was of great concern that about half of the funds were reportedly sourced through the Excess Crude Account, which belong to the nation’s three tiers of government.
“From the information made available to the National Assembly, the NDPHC Ltd. has since 2005 invested over thirty Billion US Dollars (US$30B), over half of which was sourced from the Excess Crude Account belonging to the three tiers of Government, while the balance consists of funds from other investors.
“As a Limited Liability Company, the operations, management and accounting procedures of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited is subject to the overriding provisions of the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in general, and the Companies and Allied Matters Act, (CAMA), in particular. However, the available information is that the Company has failed to comply with very serious and important provisions of the Law, such that the very essence of the company, and by extension the NIPP, is seriously threatened.
“Furthermore, the NDPHC does not submit its annual budget and project plans for appropriation by the National Assembly, while, as alleged, it also generates Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) in trillions of Naira, which cannot be determined because it is neither divulged nor paid into the coffers of the Government, but rather expended by the company without Legislative approval or input from the other tiers of Government.
“Most importantly, information available from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) conveys very disturbing signals that the trillions of Naira purportedly invested into the NIPP by the Federal, the 36 States and the 774 Local Governments have not been securitized as only N2billion Naira is said to be registered as shares in the CAC for the three tiers of Government”.
While tasking the Ad-hoc Committee to do a thorough job, the Speaker stressed that “the House is committed to finding a lasting solution to the challenge in our power sector, which has adversely affected all efforts to transform our economy. In particular, we are concerned about making the NDPHC to work to fulfil its intended objectives as an important agency in our electricity industry”.
Similary, Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee Hon. Darlington Nwokocha while retreating the resolve of the Committee to unearth every issue being the alleged $30 bn spendings by the NDPHC said that National Assembly is poised to improve the state of power generation, transmission and distribution in the country.
He informed that the House launched an investigation into the matter as a result of plethora of petitions by concerned members of the public who felt aggrieved about the sordid state of affairs in the power sector of the economy.
According to him, the essence of democracy is that government institutions particularly ministries departments agencies and parastatals remain answerable to the people.
However, the Managing Director and CEO of the company Mr Chiedu Ugbo and Solicitor Mr Abdulkadir Ajala said that particulars of the matter being investigated by the Committee was not adequately commiunicted to them in the letter sent to company on the matter.
He added that the while the company had been existing since 2005, the present members of the board and executive management are barely two years in office.
The lawmakers however insisted that the particulars of the matter under investigation were conveyed in a 17 page letter to the company in a letter dated 18th May 2018 which was acknowledged by it and therefore asked that the members of the board and executive management appear before it at its next sitting.
On its memorandum to the Committee, the Corporate Affairs Commission CAC representative Mr Terver Ayau said that from its the company has changed its board of direcors a couple of times.
He hinted that N2 billion is NDPHC’s share capital and mentioned the names of one serving governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwanmbo of Gombe and two ex-governors Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta and and Kayode Fayemio of Ekiti states among others in the list directors of the company.
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