House Wants Budget For Power Companies
ABUJA, March 22, (THEWILL) – The House of Representatives Thursday requested the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister Finance, Dr. (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to prepare a supplementary budget to cater for the needs of the Power Distribution Companies (DISCOS) as well as that of Power Generation Companies (GENCOS).
This decison was taken following the adoption of a motion introduced by the Chairman, House Committee on Power, Hon. Patrick Ikhariale.
Leading debate on the motion, Ikhariale said that much as the policy of in the power sector was desirable, "the implementation must not be done in such a manner that will leave any break in the process of power generation, transmission and distribution."
He explained that the power distribution and generation companies awarded various contracts under the 2012 budget which according to him, have been completed but have not been paid for because the third and fourth quarter releases from the 2012 budget which should have been used for that purpose were never released.
According to him, the contractors who carried out the jobs were currently on the neck of these companies particularly as there was no provision for them in the 2013 budget.
The lawmaker noted that the zero-budget situation was a threat to the operations of these companies as it has become difficult for them to replenish their stocks including some basic items such as fuses and cables.
“Whatever gains the nation has made in generation and transmission of electricity would have been lost as the distribution and generation companies with zero allocation in the 2013 budget are financially incapacitated to distribute electricity to the end users." Ikhariale said. "Unless there is a review by the executive of the zero budget so as to empower them to continue to function until such a time the preferred bidders of these companies will have functionally taken over, the nation will likely undergo massive failure in the power sector with its resultant effect on the economy.”