..reveal the poor implementation of the metering scheme, disbursement of CBN funds may undermine Electricity Act, 2023
The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees of Finance and Power to investigate and determine the performance of the utilisation of the N39 billion Settlement Loan granted to Ziglaks and other funds disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for metering purposes.
The House Committee received the mandate following the adoption of a motion on the ‘ ‘Need to Investigate” the N39 billion Settlement Loan granted to Ziglaks by the Defunct Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to Supply Meters to Discos,’ moved by Hon. James Abiodun Faleke at plenary on Thursday.
Faleke 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 meters.
He recalled that the loan was for a term of about seven years, and Ziglaks was to repay the entire N39 billion, which would elapse in 2025 and the Ministry of Power directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to issue a regulation that facilitated the signing of metre supply agreements between the Federal Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing with Ziglaks and other meter asset providers.
“There has been no evidence of supply of meters by Ziglaks Nigeria Limited, since 2018, when the agreement was signed and payment of N39 billion made.
“Apart from Ziglaks Nigeria Limited, the CBN 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 pointed out that the World Bank is currently supporting Nigeria with a loan to supply 1.2 million meters, which was expected to kick-start the programme the federal government wants to use to reduce the metering gap.
The lawmaker further stressed that despite the huge sums of money provided to close the metering gap, Nigerians were still complaining about the lack of meters and receiving crazy estimated bills from the Discos.
“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 added.
Faleke however cautioned that the plan to protect the interests of electricity users in Nigeria under the new Electricity Act, 2023, which aimed to ensure accurate charges for electricity consumed, may be undermined if the N39 billion contract for Ziglaks Company and CBN funds were not investigated.
Hon Makki Yalleman, representing Kaugama/Mallam Madori Federal Constituency, who presented the motion during the plenary stated that the loan was for a term of about seven years, and Ziglaks was to repay the entire N39 billion, which will lapse in 2025.
He said, “However, there has been no evidence of the supply of electricity meters by Ziglaks Nigeria Limited since 2018 when the agreement was signed and payment of N39 billion naira made.
“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.
He emphasised that the DisCos and the Meter Assets Providers (MAPs) have failed to meet post-privatization conditions of closing the metering gap, thus making millions of consumers receive estimated billing despite a potentially pending contract agreement.