Indications emerged yesterday that the engagement of 14 firms by the Federal Government under its Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) may be subjected to legislative investigation.
The House of Representatives Committee on Power said the agreement with the 14 firms breached due process as there was no proper guideline for the engagement.
Doubts were also raised over the nation’s ability to meet the 20,000 megawatts (Mw) power generation target set for 2020.
The Dan Asuquo-led House Committee, during its oversight visit to Abuja headquarters of the NBET yesterday was also told that Nigeria lacked capacity to power its homes and industries with nuclear or wind energy.
On the engagement of 14 firms under the PPA, the lawmakers said the process was suspicious as it appeared there was no proper guideline for the engagement.
“If there was no proper guideline, the process of acquiring those 14 companies was null and void. I can assure you if we leave here with that, there’ll be an investigation on this.
“If the standard is not in line with global best practices, of course, there will be a lot of questions. Whoever directed such a thing will appear before us,” Asuquo said.
Responding, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NBET, Marilyn Amobi said the management under her leadership was on the verge of correcting some identified anomalies in the organisation.
According to her, there was an in-house guideline produced in 2011 that met the set standard at the time, but that it would not be used in future as the organisation was developing a new one.
Amobi, who assumed office in August this year was emphatic that the country lacked the capacity for nuclear energy, arguing that there is no way Nigeria can achieve the 20,000Mw power generation target it set for itself by 2020. Amobi said: “From my perspective, we have no business talking about 20,000 Mw for 2020. It’s clear we can’t achieve that by 2020.
“A lot of talk shows are going on in this country in form of workshops on that. There will not be any 20,000 Mw in 2020. We can’t make that happen.
“Nigeria is not financially buoyant to embark on (nuclear energy) such. We cannot run nuclear in Nigeria, and the question of wind energy, forget it. It’s just a story. We cannot run all that in Nigeria. It’s just a wish list.”
Amobi’s position may not be different from that of the Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola whose Power Roadmap may have tactically reduced Nigeria’s power target over the next five years by half.
Fashola had earlier said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) expressed a desire to increase transmission capacity from today’s 5000Mw to 20,000Mw over the next five years (by 2020).
Technically, this would imply that government may have cut its initial target of generating 40,000Mw by 2020 by half.