OrderPaperToday- The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday, grilled the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engr. Sanusi Garba over the non-remittance of the agency’s operating surplus to the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
Executive Commissioner in charge of Finance at the agency, Nathan Shatti, was also present.
Chairman of the PAC, Oluwole Oke (APC, Osun) tackled the NERC Chief Executive and other officials and demanded that the provision of the law on the payment of operating surplus by Ministries, Departments, and agencies (MDAs) of government be complied with by these organisations forthwith.
Oke stressed that the REA was one of the key government agencies established under the Electricity Reform Act passed by the National Assembly and given the mandate to maximise its potential for national development in the power sector.
He further stated that the provision of the law is clear that the agency as a regulator of the government agencies and power distribution companies should pay its operating surplus to the government agency in charge of power at the rural areas.
Responding to the queries raised by the representative of the Auditor- General of the Federation (AuGF), Godfrey Nwankwo, on the report of the AuGF to the committee, the NERC Chief Executive said that the agency has paid up all its outstanding operating surplus to the REA.
He further told the committee that the idea of payment of operating surplus to the government is to improve access to electricity in the rural areas by agencies of government.
Nwankwo added that the regulator of the electricity industry in Nigeria has paid N1.340 million naira as operating surplus to the coffers of the REA adding that in 2012 a whopping N4billion was paid to the coffers of government.
However, Oke and other members of the Committee who were not satisfied with the explanation from the NERC Chief Executive and other officials demanded that the REA provide the Committee with details of payment of operating surplus by NERC from 2015-till date.
While ruling on the matter, he said that the Clerk of the Committee should write to the agency demanding details of the payment of operating surplus by the NERC from 2015 till date.