By Umar Muhammad Puma
The House of Representatives Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation has warned Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOS) who are performing below standard to improve their services before the stipulated timeline elapses or have their licences revoke.
The committee during an oversight visit to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company ( AEDC), also pledged to support the executive arm of government to meet up its commitment of 40 per cent share capital to the DISCOS.
Deputy Chairman of the committee, Rep.Mutiu Shadimu who led other members on the visit noted that the parliament would do everything to encourage affected DISCOS, adding that it is not the wish of the House to revoke licenses.
“Even though they have challenges, there is a timeline with which they should perform, the only thing we can do for now is to encourage them.
We don’t want a situation whereby we have to reverse the transaction, because it will send a very wrong signal to the international community. We don’t want to do that, we will have to encourage them and pressurise them to perform and also urge the government to provide whatever they need to perform. We don’t want to go to the extent of revoking the license giving to them,” he stated.
According to him, the purchase sale agreement is such that the DISCOS will have 60 per cent share capital and the federal government will have 40 per cent share capital.
“The effect of that is that the federal government is contributing certain things to make sure that the privatisation works. The executive has not come to the parliament to seek for fund to that effect,” he said.
Shadimu, however, dismissed the claim that the federal government was unable to fulfill its financial commitment to the process.
“The federal government has not come to request for fund, and I don’t think the problem is fund really, but there are certain requirements the government want to put in place and that is the area we are looking at. It is not a matter of fund policy and structural arrangements,” he said.
He added that : “The assistance we can render is that we will relate these challenges to the executive arm of government. Debts owed by MDA’s is also part of the problem, and we have started working on it to ensure that this money is paid, that is part of the contribution we can.