By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives has expressed displeasure over the failure of Managing Director/Chief Executive of Nigerian Electricity Management Services (NEMSA), Engr. Peter Ewesor, Managing Director/CEO to account for multi-billion naira internally generated revenue accrued to the coffer of the agency in 2019.
The reaction of the Lawmakers was subsequence to 2019/2020 budget defence held at the instance of the House Committee on Power chaired by Hon. Aliyu Magaji who frowned at the huge debts owed contractors despite the release of 69% of the capital vote for the year.
According to the document presented to the Committee, 200 Nigerians were electrocuted between 2015 and Q2 2019.
Out of total of 147,688 energy meters tested by NEMSA, 147,342 were passed/certified while 346 fziled/uncertified; removed 73 bad/substandard transformers with false capacity/specifications outside extant regulations and NESS; removed 437 substandard electric poles, 391 substandard channels, iron and angle; 1,047 insulators, 172 fuses and isolators; 439m substandard earth conductors; 197 substandard feeders; inspected 263 electric concrete poles manufacturers out of which 114 passed and 149 failed.
The lawmakers also expressed displeasure over the payment of total revenue generated by agency into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), while the agency complained of paucity of funds for execution of critical projects.
In his intervention, chairman, House Services, Hon. Wale Raji who frowned at the poor accounting system adopted by the Agency said: “the presentation is unacceptable because it questions the integrity of the document. Because it will go into public record that if we accept the document, the next Assembly can look into it and ask question as to who accepted that document!”
In his response, Engr. Ewesor who earlier explained that the Agency remitted all the revenue into the Single Treasury Account (TSA) from January to September; added that the decision was in tandem with a circular issued by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (oSGF) prohibiting all fully funded MDAs from spending all revenues generated.
To this end, the Committee demanded for copy of the circular issued by the OSGF and other relevant documents including receipts of payments to the TSA and Consolidated Revenue Fund as well as nominal roll of employees and their salary grade levels.
While ruling, Hon. Magaji who issued 8 hour ultimatum for the NEMSA management to present comprehensive report, warned that “budget defence is not a jamboree and it is a constitutional responsibility which must be done well.”