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Reps seek reversal of Ibadan Electricity Company’s directors’ suspension

House of Representatives has called on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to rescind the suspension of the executive and non-executive directors of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company.

The resolution followed a motion under matters of urgent public importance by Rep. Sunday Adepoju (Oyo-APC) on Tuesday at the plenary in Abuja.

In the motion, Adepoju noted the critical role the power sector played in Nigeria’s economy.

He said that in the Federal Government’s privatisation policy, Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited became a core investor in Ibadan Electricity Distribution Plc and the Yola Electricity Distribution Plc.

”The House is aware that due to the protracted violence in the North-East, the Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited declared “Force Majeure’’.

“This terminated the sale of Yola Electricity Distribution Company and entitling Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited to a refund from the Bureau of Public Enterprises of the money it paid for a stake in the company.

”The House is conscious that though the refund to Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited fell due since 2015, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is yet to fulfil its obligation.

“It recently caused the Federal Government to provide for it in the 2018 Appropriation Act.

”The house is also conscious that in two separate agreements executed in 2015 and 2016, the Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited borrowed a total of N6, 000, 000, 000 from the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company.

“This is to pay off some of the debts it incurred in the failed Yola Electricity Distribution transaction,” he said, adding that the House was impressed.

Adepoju said that in spite of the expected refund from the PBE, which served as security against the loans, the Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited in December, 2017 reached an understanding.

He said “the understanding with NERC was to pay the sum of N150, 000, 000 monthly to Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company towards the settlement of the loans.

”The House is satisfied that the Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited as at June 14, 2018, had paid the said N150 million from January to May, 2018.

“Although, there were hiccups occasioned by cash flow, payment is currently up to date.

”We’re alarmed that vide its order referenced as NERC/181/2018 and dated June 19, 2018, the NERC suspended all executive and non-executive directors of the Ibadan Electricity Regulatory Commission.”

The lawmaker described the suspension as “counter-productive’’, saying it would not only affect the investors’ confidence in the market, but also deprive the company of critical management needs.

“This is at a time when all hands should be on deck in addressing the myriad of challenges facing electricity distribution companies nationwide.’’

When the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, put the motion to a voice vote, it was unanimously adopted.

The Committee on Power was, therefore, charged to investigate the matter with a view to protecting the electricity market environment, and report back within four weeks.

Dele Fashomi
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93.Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism.He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002.Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013).He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers.He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor.Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.