By Linda Ike
The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has summoned
the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Mr. Sule Abdulaziz over poor power generation in the country.
They said despite the $33 million paid monthly to Azura power plant for the purpose, Nigeria is yet to get value for the money spent.
The Committee ordered that Abdulaziz should appear on Tuesday August 23 2022 to give explanation for the ugly situation.
The committee, Chaired by Hon. James Faleke which took the decision on Monday at the ongoing investigative hearing on the proposed sale of the National Integrated Power Plant (NIPP) by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) said they will hire a consultant to interpret the documents tendered by officials of the TCN
They stated that the aim of the hearing is to address the alleged breaches of agreement and perennial power failure in the country.
According to the Executive Director, Transmission Service Provider, TCN, Mr. Victor Adewumi who appeared before the committee.saaid, Azura which is located in Edo State was structured to produced 450 megawatts of electricity.
He claimed that Azura had historically produced accumulatively 1,755.9 megawatts, saying that the 450 mega watts is expected to be generated at anytime.
He said, “If Azura is on, it should be given you 460 mega watts.”
On his part, the Director of Market Operation, TCN Mr. Edmond Ejeh, TCN said the company has been living up to its mandate by constantly evacuating power whenever the company generates.
Ejeh said: “I think within the month they have been giving 450 during the time we had low water. They have been tasking themselves to produce and TCN has been evacuating them having signed evacuation agreement.”
In his reaction, Hon. Faleke, countered the TCN representative that the epileptic power supply was a violation of the agreement signed with Azura.
Falake said, “what was contained in the documents provided was 1.7 kilowatts as against the 2 kilowatts presented by the team, the inability of Nigerians to set up industries resulted from unavailability of electricity
“Nigerians are willing to set up industries. But there is no power. But yet they have paid huge sums of money. This is just an issue; not witch-hunting. It is not about TCN but Nigeria.
“So, all the questions I have for TCN, I will have to reserve it for your MD. There are questions that this committee will like to ask when the MD is seated.
Whatever position we find ourselves, we are just opportune among 200 million Nigerians.”
He further said, “The issue of $33m is just for one power company. Why the House has interest in this TCN, is because we have concessioned other power stations.
“Egbin power station is the largest with 1,320 megawatts. It is private. We did not sign take-or-pay with them. This is where I am going. If we have Egbin power station that is generating the highest into the national grid – 1,320, and we also have Transcorp with about 650 megawatts and we did not sign take-or-pay with Transcorp.
“Iam sure we have others, what we are trying to bring out is that what is so special about Azura? Not only that it is special, just two or three people sat down and committed Nigerians to it. We will get there.”
Hon. Taiwo Oluga, a member of the committee also queried TCN on why $33 million should be paid into Azura’s account monthly without getting power supply.
“The representative of the chief executive, I will want to put it to you that this document, you are confusing the House. If it is your document and we are arguing on it, whether it is megawatts or it is in kilowatts, and agreement has been signed on behalf of Nigerians in megawatts. Now you are presenting documents to the House in kilowatts/hour.
“So, Mr Chairman, I will want to say that maybe these documents, they should re-present while we expect the chief executive to come and explain to Nigerians why $33m will be paid (to Azura) every month, yet we are not getting results – we are not getting power, and that is the root of all the problems in Nigeria as of today. And I want to say in developed countries, can we go into such an agreement and on behalf of Nigerians without signing it. Even while signing it, we are not getting the power that is signed (for). I put it to you: you are travelling all over the world”, she said.
A member of the committee, Hon. Sha’abba Ibrahim, moved that the TCN representatives should go and put facts together before making further presentations to the parliament.
Ibrahim said: “To avoid this fluidity and roaming whenever people come in here for this investigative hearing, I want to suggest that, first, they should adopt their documents so that we can hold them to account. Mr Chairman, I am more confused than when I came in here – more confused now.
“I really don’t understand the language in which this presentation is denominated. So, I fully support the idea that they have to go back and to rethink what they are doing so that we can have a more informed session when next we come here”