The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Power, Hon. Magaji Da’u Aliyu has declared that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) will not get any budgetary allocation in 2021 if it is not returned to the Federal Ministry of Power.
Aliyu, who made the declaration during an oversight visit to the Ministry of Power in Abuja on Monday, said NBET remains an agency under the Ministry of Power.
ExpressDay recalls that last December, the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman suspended the NBET Managing Director, Marilyn Amobi, but the Minister was over-ruled few days later by the Presidency.
NBET was then moved from the Ministry to the Federal Ministry of Finance and National Planning.
But Aliyu said the removal was against the Act setting up the sector.
He said: “NBET no doubt, has a critical role to play as the key financial organ of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
“As lawmakers, we frown at every possible attempt at contravening aspects of the law. The provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 with regards to successor companies, shows clearly that NBET is an agency under the Ministry of Power. It is my opinion that the alleged decision to move the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Plc from the Ministry of Power to the Ministry of Finahce is akin to hitting the self-destruct button.
“We cannot afford to play politics with an issue as sensitive and as vital as this. I therefore wish to use this medium to reiterate that as far as the National Assembiy is concerned NBET still remains an agency under the Ministry of Power”.
Speaking on the long delay for the take off of the $6 billion Mambilla Hydro-Power Project, he lamented that the project exists only on paper.
He noted that there was nothing on ground to show for the project before the coming of this administration.
His conclusion came shortly after a Right of Way report from the Director, Renewable Energy & Rural Power Access, Engr. Faruk Yusuf Yabo that the land for the project has just been acquired.
“There was no legal title to the land until now,” Engr. Yabo said.
Speaking after his report, the Chairman said, “I wish to sincerely thank President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Power for achieving this feat, there was never anything like Mambilla power project, it exists only in books and on papers before this government.”
The Committee Chair said, the National Assembly was worried about the slow rate of implementation of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission Act, 2010 and its subsequent amendment, therefore, drew the attention of the minister to the House’s earlier resolution that HYPPADEC should commence operation by the 1st of January, 2020.
Earlier, the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman said, the HYPPADEC Act was passed into law in August 2010 and amended in July 2018.
Engr. Mamman said, the objective of HYPPADEC was to bring development to the communitMinisthe area affected by activities of hydro power plants.
He said: “In accordance with the concern and directive of the National Assembly during 2020 Budget defence for immediate take -off HYPPADEC, the Ministry has appointed a Director to oversee the coordination of the take-off of the Commission.
“A source of funding to enable the take-off of the commission has been approved,” he said.
He listed inadequate budgetary provision and untimely release of budgetary funds, as some of the challenges facing the Ministry.