The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said the newly constituted board of the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) would enhance ongoing efforts to resolve the liabilities relating to tariff shortfalls for power distribution companies nationwide.
According to a statement on Sunday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, Osinbajo made the assertion in his remarks delivered virtually at the inauguration of the new 10-member board of NELMCO.
The Vice President also mandated the board composed of Ministers of Finance, Power and others to protect the interests of the society, particularly ordinary citizens.
Before the inauguration, NELMCO has been running without a duly constituted board since the first one was inaugurated in 2013 and dissolved shortly after.
According to Osinbajo, “today’s inauguration marks an important milestone in the bid to resolve the liabilities relating to tariff shortfalls in the power sector (specifically for Distribution Companies), and to provide a veritable mechanism for managing the very dynamic nature of the liquidity challenges of the power sector in Nigeria.
“This ceremony formally brings on board the invaluable skills and experience of notable and highly respected personalities as members of the Board of NELMCO.
Setting expectations for the new board, the Vice President told the members that, “as a board, you are expected to make conscious and deliberate efforts to develop appropriate strategies to facilitate the successful conclusion of the outstanding pre-privatisation issues of the defunct PHCN, and ensure effective implementation of NELMCO’s additional mandate to resolve the tariff shortfall problems of the electricity distribution companies.
“In view of the challenges ahead, you are expected to draw extensively on our experience over the years, to continue to give credence to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s economic development programme in a transparent, sustainable, credible and acceptable manner.
“The Board is required to take appropriate steps to also ensure that the interests of the various segments of our society, particularly the ordinary citizens, are protected in the implementation of NELMCO’s mandate”.
He also urged the board members “to diligently carry out the responsibilities assigned to the board in accordance with the provisions of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (MEMART) of the company”.
According to the statement: “Some of the provisions of the MEMART include: “To assume and administer the stranded debts of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc pursuant to the provisions of Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.
“To manage post-privatisation liabilities in the power sector as may be directed by the National Council on Privatisation, or any authorised agency of the Federal Government from time to time in line with the power sector reform act 2005”.
In her remarks, the Board Chairperson and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed assured Osinbajo of the board’s preparedness to ensure quick resolution of tariff shortfalls and related issues in the power sector in the most efficient manner.
Other members of the board include the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu; Director General of Bureau for Public Enterprises, Mr Alex Okoh; Director General of Debt Management Office, Ms Patience Oniha; Managing Director of NELMCO, Mr Bayo Fagbemi; Mr Muhammad Jumma’a; Mr Olufunso Olukoga; Dr Chinedum Orisakwe; Mojoyinoluwa Dekalu-Thomas and Dr. Nurain Ibrahim.
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr Alex Okoh has said the take-over of four electricity distribution companies namely; Kaduna, Kano, Ibadan and Port Harcourt DISCOs has been concluded successfully.
Okoh, who disclosed this in a presentation made at a virtual meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) held last Tuesday, added that the challenge in the takeover of the Benin DISCO is being addressed.
The NCP is chaired by Osinbajo who was represented at the meeting by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, who is the Vice Chair of the council.