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Published On: Fri, Feb 28th, 2020

NEC orders forensic audit of DISCOs

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By Lawrence Olaoye

The National Economic Council (NEC) has raised the suspicion that investors may not have invested substantially into the electric distribution companies (DisCos) and therefore ordered a forensic investigation to ascertain the quantum of their financial involvements.
Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the monthly Council meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday, Ebonyi governor, Dave Umahi declared that no one was satisfied by the performances of the DisCos even as he disclosed that the governors have been requested to submit all their investments in the electricity distribution companies from 2013 to date.
The governors, according to him were to provide the financial details to ascertain the real volume of individuals and private sectors investments in the DisCos.
Asked whether the governor are in support of the reversal of the Public, Private Partnership (PPP) investments in the electricity sector, Umahi said “Of course nobody is happy with the DISCOS performance and we have a committee chaired by the governor of Kaduna state and they have done very beautiful job. They have placed advertisements in about five newspapers and have asked the general public to give them information on performance of these DISCOS and also investments made by private individuals and private sectors. And also the governors are requested before the end of March to also submit all their investments from 2013 to date, so that we will get it all together and were directed by the electricity authority to stamp our claims.
I think the federal government is trying to take the bull by the horn by trying to find out what investments these DISCOS made towards this privatization. The first suspicion is that they have made no substantial investment and we will take it when we get all the solutions.”
On the financial status of the nation, Umahi said the Excess Crude Account, as at February 24, 2020, had $71, 813941.84; Stabilisation Account N34,186,655,761.82 and Development of Natural Resource Account N101,889,686,452.53.
Queried on the drastic cop in the Excess Crude Accounts, the governor explained “on the question of ECA $325 million depleted to $71 million and what happens to the $254 million, I will combine with the question that governors were protesting the depletion and that they were not consulted.
First, it is not true. $250 million was an agreed investment by governors and federal government on NSIA – National Sovereign Investment Authority and they are doing very well. They are handling our infrastructure so nicely that it was further agreed that we should reinvest into it. When these investments are made the federal, state and local governments all get their investment certificate. So we are together in this.
You also asked where is the other $4 million, it was used in paying consultancy and services that would have caused the fund about $500 million, it was renegotiated to $4 million because, some people went to court over certain transactions in NNPC and so federal government had to engage consultant to handle that. We would have paid the consultant five percent of the cost that they were seeking and it would have translated into $500 million. So if you add $250 million plus $4 million you will get $254 million and if you add $71 million you get $325 million, we are back to where we were. So no money is missing.”
Umahi also disclosed that the three pilot states selected for the implementation of the National Livestocks Transformation Plan, Adamawa, Plateau and Nasarawa states have been asked to provide their Lette of Intent and counterpart funding to draw the federal government 80 percent funding.
He also disclosed that the government has continued to deduct the budget support loans for state governments’ monthly allocations

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