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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Disclose Details Of Loans Disbursed To DisCos For Metering — Reps To CBN

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to give details of loans disbursed to the licensed electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) under the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

The lower legislative chamber, during the plenary session, passed the motion sponsored by Uchenna Okonkwo, a lawmaker representing the Idemili north/ Idemili south federal constituency of Anambra State.

Recall that in August 2020, former President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a nationwide metering of electricity consumers to check estimated billings

The intervention was intended to increase the metering rate, eliminate arbitrary estimated billing, strengthen the local meter manufacturing sector, job creation and reduction of collections losses.

While the CBN has disbursed billions of naira to DisCos under the NMMP, several homes are without meters.

Okonkwo, leading debate on the motion, said there have been reports of discrepancies, mismanagement, and non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the loans disbursed by some DisCos, leading to inefficiencies, underperformance, and failure to achieve the objectives of the NMMP.

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He said the lack of proper oversight, monitoring and evaluation of funds disbursed under the programme by the CBN “has created opportunities for corruption, diversion, and misappropriation of public resources”.

The motion was unanimously adopted when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker of the House, Tajudeen Abbas.

Following the adoption of the motion, the House asked the CBN to provide a detailed report on the implementation of the NMMP, including the number of loans disbursed and their status to the parliament.

The House also asked the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to provide a “comprehensive assessment” of the performance of the DisCos in metering customers and eliminating estimated billing.

The green chamber further mandated the committees on power, banking regulations, rural electrification agency, housing and habitat to investigate the disbursement and use of funds under the NMMP by the CBN to ascertain the level of compliance with the terms and conditions of the loans.

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