Osinbajo Optimistic NELMCO Will Resolve Challenges in Power Sector

Yemi Osinbajo, vice president of Nigeria, has expressed optimism that the newly seated board of the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company, or NELMCO, will strengthen ongoing efforts to address liabilities relating to tariff shortfalls for distribution companies, among other difficulties plaguing the country’s power sector.

During the weekend’s “virtual inauguration” of the new NELMCO board, Osinbajo voiced his trust.

Since the initial board was established in 2013 and promptly disbanded, the corporation has operated without a board that has been properly constituted.

Osinbajo was quoted as saying yesterday in a statement from the Office of the Vice President’s Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande: “Today’s (Friday) inauguration marks an important milestone in the bid to resolve the liabilities relating to tariff shortfalls in the power sector (specifically for Distribution Companies), and to provide a veritable mechanism for managing the very dynamic nature of the liquidity challenges of the power se

“This ceremony formally brings on board the invaluable skills and experience of notable and highly respected personalities as members of the Board of NELMCO.”

The vice president explained to the members of the new board what was expected of them, saying, “As a board, you are expected to make conscious and deliberate efforts to develop appropriate strategies to facilitate the successful conclusion of the outstanding pre-privatisation issues of the defunct PHCN and ensure effective implementation of NELMCO’s additional mandate to resolve the tariff shortfall problems of the Electricity Distribution Companies.

“In view of the challenges ahead, you are expected to draw extensively on our experience over the years, to continue to give credence to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s economic development programme in a transparent, sustainable, credible and acceptable manner.  

“The board is required to take appropriate steps to ensure that the interests of the various segments of our society, particularly the ordinary citizens, are protected in implementing NELMCO’s mandate.”  

On the board’s mandate, Osinbajo charged members “to diligently carry out the responsibilities assigned to the board in accordance with the provisions of the Memorandum and Articles of Association (MEMART) of the company.”

One of the clauses in the company’s MEMART is to take and manage the stranded debts of the long-gone Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Plc in accordance with the 2005 Electric Power Sector Reform Act.

ln accordance with the 2005 Power Sector Reform Act, to manage post-privatization liabilities in the power sector as may be instructed by the National Council on Privatization or any authorised agency of the Federal Government from time to time.

In a statement made on behalf of the board’s members, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning assured the vice president that the board was ready to provide the quickest possible settlement of tariff deficits and related difficulties in the electricity sector.

Other members of the board include the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu; Director General of Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE),  Alex Okoh; Director General of Debt Management Office (DMO), Patience Oniha; Managing Director of NELMCO, Bayo Fagbemi; Muhammad Aliyu Jumma’a;  Olufunso Olutola Olukoga; Chinedum Orisakwe; Mojoyinoluwa Dekalu-Thomas and Nurain Hassan Ibrahim.

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