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Nigeria Paid N2.7 For Darkness In 16yrs, Says Dogara |The Republican News

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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara

John Ameh, Abuja

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, said on Tuesday that over N2.7tn of tax payers’ money spent on the power sector in the last 16 years only bought darkness to Nigerians.

Dogara noted that nothing had changed in the sector other than the fact that it continued to consume money but produced little positive results.

He observed that the privatisation of the sector had not fared better, a development Dogara said had put more pressure on both the Federal Government and other stakeholders to think of realistic steps to revamp electricity supply.

Dogara spoke in Abuja at the opening of a stakeholders’ dialogue on the ‘Nigerian Power Challenge: A Legislative Intervention’.

The session, which was facilitated by a power supply stakeholder, Surging Gold Limited, had, in attendance, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; and some key investors.

Dogara stated that Nigerians must again begin to ask questions as it would appear that every effort made to rescue the sector produced hiccups

He added, “Perhaps, the most important question is what happened to the N2.74tn spent on the sector from 1999 to 2015?

“Why is it that the more we spend on the power sector, the more darkness we attract?

“Why are most of the companies licensed by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission not able to start their projects?”

Saraki pointedly said epileptic power supply in Nigeria was the “failure of governance.”

He stated, “Wherever we go in the world, the failure is on all of us, whether we are in the private sector or those of us in the public sector.”

The Senate President observed that privatisation was meant to be a solution, lamenting that generation companies and distribution companies were sold to persons who had no idea about how to run the sector.

Saraki called on all stakeholders to be sincere in finding sustainable solutions to the sector by thinking more of the general interest of Nigerians than selfish interest.

“We must be prepared to put Nigeria first and the government itself must be sincere with every decision that they have to take,” he added.

Fashola told the session that he could not agree less with Saraki and Dogara, but quickly added that there was no going back on privatisation.

The minister argued that what was needed to be done was to strengthen privatisation by putting the right structures in place to encourage the investors.

For instance, he said Gencos were battling huge liabilities, which had hindered their ability to pay for gas supplies to generate power.

The minister also made references to court cases slowing down developments in the power sector.

Speaking on the impact of vandalism on the sector, the minister added “almost 3,000 megawatts of power” had been “decommissioned” by vandalism.

On their part, the investors pointed out that the way out was for the government and regulators to support “cost-reflective tariff” and for consumers to pay the power already supplied.

The Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, for instance, said there was no way investors would continue to put in more money when they were owed over N50bn.

Elumelu claimed that the sector was over-regulated and was not given the same leverage the telecommunications sector enjoyed years back to begin their operations smoothly.

He stated, “The tariff has to be cost-reflective for the sector to work, especially we are not taking into account the rate of inflation and the exchange rate.

“The cost of gas is there and so much regulation is stifling the take off of privatisation. The sector must be allowed to flow freely, like the telecommunications sector did before tariffs began to crash years later.

“With debts of up to N50bn, it is unfair to expect that investors will perform miracles. The system must encourage them and we all must be sincere with ourselves.”    (Punchng.com)

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FRC Has No Power To Fix Adeboye, Others Tenure-Reps | The Republican New

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Speaker of the House Of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara

John Ameh, Abuja

The House of Representatives has ordered a “detailed” public hearing on the activities of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, particularly the Council’s decision to fix the tenure of the leadership of religious organisations.

The House passed the resolution on Wednesday in Abuja at a session which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.

It came after members debated and endorsed a motion moved by the Minority Leader of the House, Mr. Leo Ogor.

Lawmakers also clarified that no agency of the Federal Government was empowered by any law passed by the National Assembly to determine how many years a religious leader should serve in office.

They noted that the FRC Act 2011 did not make provision for the tenure of office of religious bodies or non-profit organisations.

While leading the debate, Ogor said he was amazed where the FRC got its powers.

He added that while the agency might have delegated legislative powers, being a product of the National Assembly, any legislation or code it formulated should have been mandatorily approved by the same National Assembly before it could be applied.

In the extant case of the controversial Good Governance Code formulated by the FRC for non-profit organisations, the lawmaker stated that the National Assembly had no knowledge of it.

The motion stated, “The House is concerned that the Governance Code, formulated by the Council, as it relates to heads of non-profit making organisations, is a clear usurpation of the powers of the National Assembly as stipulated in Section 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

“Also concerned that the National Assembly has not, in any way, approved the corporate governance code as it did with the Building Code.

“The House is convinced that codes of corporate governance must be in conformity with international best practices.

“Worried that an overzealous chief executive officer of a regulatory body can misinterpret  or misapply the provisions of the code as can be clearly seen in the case of the FRC.”

In performing its duties, Ogor pointed out that the FRC was to restrict itself to accountability, transparency and probity in pursuing corporate governance principles in public and private organisations.

“No law, enacted by the National Assembly, empowers any agency to set the tenure of office for heads of non-profit organisations,” he added.

The Chairman, House Committee on Ethics/Privileges, Mr. Nicholas Ossai, took the same position as Ogor.

He told the House that though the FRC was empowered to function, the issue of fixing how long a religious leader should be in office was off its bounds.

Ossai added, “This is because we are talking about the things of God here.

“The tenure of religious leaders is determined by God, not man.

“Besides, delegated legislation like the FRC code should have been forwarded to the National Assembly for approval.

“The code in question was never forwarded to the National Assembly.”

Two other members, Mr. Istifanus Gyang, and Mr. Sunday Karimi, berated the former leadership of the FRC for its actions in implementing the code.

On his part, a former Deputy Minority Whip, Mr. Garba Mohammed-Dhatti, called for rigorous monitoring of the activities of agencies to prevent them from abusing their delegated powers.

“Overzealous heads of agencies can abuse delegated powers.

“They have to be properly monitored to save us from embarrassment,” he stated.

The controversial FRC code, among others, sets a 20-year tenure for heads of religious groups and civil rights organisations.

Such leaders are required to hand over the affairs of the organisations they head to successors in line with the corporate governance principles.

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, had resigned as the head of the church in Nigeria on Saturday, reportedly in compliance with the code.

He named Pastor Joseph Obayemi as the overseer of the church in Nigeria and took on the new title of General Overseer, RCCG, Worldwide.

The development was greeted with interpretations, including insinuations that the Federal Government was attempting to meddle in the affairs of religious bodies, using the FRC.

President Muhammadu Buhari reacted on Monday by sacking the Executive Secretary of the FRC, Mr. Jim Obazee.

The President had, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, approved the sacking and the replacement of Obazee.

The statement also constituted a board for the Council with Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman as chairman and Mr. Daniel Asapokhai as Obazee’s replacement.

The former FRC leadership was said to have disregarded an October 17, 2016 directive by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, asking for the suspension of the code.  (Punchng.com)

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