NERC, REA, Others Operate Without Budgetary Allocation | Independent Newspapers Limited
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NERC, REA, Others Operate Without Budgetary Allocation

Posted: Jul 21, 2016 at 12:41 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

There are strong indications that the Federal Government’s power agencies, which include Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), have been operating without budgetary allocation due to non-substantive chief executive officers.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, last month, asked all Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), which are under his purview,  to prepare their schedules for the payment of their contractors, but none of them could access the 2016 budget because of lack of CEOs.

According to a source, without the budget, it would be impossible to pay contractors that need money to implement the projects, a situation that had made some of the contractors to lament over the huge debt they owed to the banks and others.

The source said, “the budgets of some MDAs that do not have substantive CEOs have not been released. Without the budget, you cannot make the contractors to move to site because once there is no money; the contractors will be reluctant to move. But once they know that there is money, it gingers them to work.

Information gathered disclosed that one of the contractors for REA, who had an outstanding debt of N7billion, which he owed his other sub-contractors, lamented profusely, as the Federal Government approved only N1.2 billion for the debt in this year’s budget.

The contractor said: “We have an outstanding payment of about N7 billion but what they put in the current budget is N1.2 billion. Up till now we have not seen it. They said the budget has been realised but nothing has dropped into the account.

“This is due to the fact that there is no substantive CEO in REA, there is also a limit to the action that could be taken as there is currently no board, stressing that some executive decisions are now referred to the Minister and Permanent Secretary.

“REA has no board and there is a limit to the executive power of the acting Managing Director of the agency so he still waits for the Minister or Permanent Secretary to take such decisions,” he added.