Power: El-Rufai heads NEC committee to review DisCos’ ownership structure

• resolves to invest additional $250m in NSIA

The National Economic Council (NEC) has set up a committee to review the status of the ownership structure of Distribution Companies (DisCos).

This formed part of the decisions reached by the council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja on Thursday.

Recall that DisCos have come under government scrutiny for not living up to expectations in power distribution.

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, said the committee members will include Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state.

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He said other members of the committee are governors representing the six geo-political zones who are currently serving in the Board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) as well as representatives of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE).

He said: “NEC also resolved to constitute an Ad-hoc Committee including Governor El-Rufai of Kaduna State and Governors representing the six geo-political zones who are currently serving in the Board of the NDPHC to review the status of the ownership structure of the Power Distribution Companies.

“The Committee will also include a representative from the National Council on Privatisation and the BPE.”

Ihedioha also reported on the status of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) saying that the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, on behalf of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning told the Council that the balance in the account as at 20th November 2019 was $324, 539, 031.51.

Others were Stabilization Account balance as at 20th November 2019   = N 29, 480, 483, 393.33 and Natural Resources Development Fund Account balance as at 20th November 2019 = N 79, 751, 649,521.54.

Also at the briefing, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Sovereign  Investment Authority (NSIA), Uche Orji, revealed that NEC has resolved to invest an additional $250 million to the NSIA.

It has also appointed el-Rufai to chair a NEC Committee to consider how a portion of Pension Funds can also be leveraged into an investment for the NSIA with the possible implementation of PENCOM.

The committee will include the Finance Minister, CBN Governor and the NSIA MD.

Orji said he presented to NEC the 2018 Annual Reports and Accounts; 2019 Update and Auditor’s Report stating that the NSIA made a profit before tax of N42,036,469.00 while NSIA and its Subsidiaries made a profit before tax of N46,185,074.00.

However, he said, the total comprehensive income by the year ending in 31st December 2018 made by the NSIA Group amounted to N44,337,108, while that made by the NSIA stood at N41,827,853.00

The MD/CEO also presented to council the NSIA’s Business Update, Outlook and Strategy, informing the council that irrespective of volatility in the market due to the US/China trade disputes and Brexit, that the Group made a total of N24 billion in total comprehensive income in the first 6 months of the year.

He added that the group intends to deploy capital into the three road project under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund – to complete the Second Niger Bridge, Abuja – Kano highway and Lagos – Ibadan Expressway as well as the Mambilla Power Project.

Speaking further, Orji stated that the NSIA intends to create a number of co-investment funds, in the area of Healthcare, Agriculture and Gas Projects.

“These projects worth N2,5 trillion, will be implemented under a business model, that includes the payment of reasonable service charges (e.g. tolling of roads, electricity tariffs etc) after the projects have been fully developed,” he said.

Governor Abdullahi Sule spoke on the solid mineral sector, saying that NEC stressed the need for collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the State Governments

He said NEC also noted that environmental issues and concerns in the states have to be sorted out by the Federal Ministry working with the states.

On community relationship, he said council resolved that there should be a full-time engagement of the communities to avoid the mistakes made in the oil and gas sector.

He revealed that Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) should constitute an Ad-hoc Committee involving Governors to engage with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Solid Minerals to find ways of addressing all the issues involved towards a beneficial development of the solid mineral sector.

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