‘Nigeria Lost N15b to PHCN Sale’

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Nigeria has lost about N15 billion due to under leases, unauthorised sale and  misappropriation of funds through the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the House of Representatives said yesterday.

Other leakages that aided the loss, according to the House, include abuse of process and outright negligence in the handling of non-core assets of the defunct power firm.

These emerged at an investigative hearing with stakeholders by the subcommittee of three standing committees of the House investigating the sale of PHCN non-core assets.

According to the Chairman of the subcommittee, Jonathan Gaza (PDP, Nasarawa), many of the PHCN non-core assets, transferred to the Nigeria Electricity Management Company (NELMCO) were leased at undervalued rates, while others were given out to distribution companies (DisCos) and some diverted.

 Saying that the N15billion loss was too much considering Nigeria’s present financial state, Gaza said: “It will interest you to note that a conservative investigation has revealed monumental losses to the government and the people of Nigeria in excess of about N15billion as a result of under leases, unauthorised sales, misappropriation of funds, abuse of process and outright negligence.”

He expressed the determination of the panel to recover the lost revenues under the liquidation process and employ other measures to save the country from further financial losses.

The Director-General, Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Alex Okoh, said though the process for the sale of the non-core assets began sometime ago, it was put on hold due to non-approval from the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).

Source: The Nation

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