The motion sponsor noted that the goal of the Electricity Act 2023 may be undermined if the N39 billion contract awarded to Ziglaks Company for the supply of electricity meters is not probed.
The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the N39 billion loan granted to Ziglaks by the defunct Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing to supply meters to distribution companies (DICOS) in Nigeria.
This is even as it mandated the Committees of Finance and Power to investigate and determine the performance of the loan and the utilisation of funds disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria for metering purposes.
The decision followed the adoption of a motion titled, “Need to Investigate the 39 Billion Naira Settlement Loan granted to Ziglaks by the Defunct Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to Supply Meters to DICOS” sponsored by Rep. James Abiodun Faleke (APC, Lagos).
Leading the debate in Falake’s place, Rep. Makki Yalleman (APC, Jigawa) noted that in July 2018, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing, by Presidential approval, converted the N119 billion judgment debt against the Federal Government into an N39 billion loan, which was granted to Ziglaks Company to supply metres.
Yalleman also stated that the loan was for a term of about seven (7) years, and Ziglaks was to repay the entire N39 billion, which will lapse in 2025.
According to him, “The Ministry of Power directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to issue a regulation that facilitated the signing of meter supply agreements between the Federal Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing with Ziglaks and other meter asset providers.”
He, however, stated that “there has been no evidence of supply of electricity meters by Ziglaks Nigeria Limited, since 2018, when the agreement was signed and payment of N39 billion naira made;
The lawmaker also informed that apart from Ziglaks Nigeria Limited, the Central Bank of Nigeria also intervened in the funding of meter manufacturers to provide meters and ameliorate the suffering of the people’s underestimated billings, but this action is yet to be felt by the people.
He explained that “The World Bank is currently supporting Nigeria with a loan to supply 1.2 million meters, which is expected to kick-start the programme the Federal Government wants to deploy to reduce the metering gap.
Yalleman also noted that despite the huge sums of money provided to close the metering gap, Nigerians are still complaining about the lack of electricity meters and receiving crazy estimated bills from the DISCOs.
“The DISCOs have failed to meet post-privatisation conditions of closing the metering gap, thus, making millions of consumers receive estimated billing despite a potentially pending contract agreement.
He regretted that the new Electricity Act 2023, which is aimed at protecting Nigeria’s interests by ensuring accurate charges for electricity, may be undermined if the N39 billion contract for Ziglaks Company and Central Bank of Nigeria funds is not investigated.