Reps seek Presidential waiver on N18.264bn, $231m power equipment

The House of Representatives on Tuesday called for an urgent need for the Federal Government to issue Value Added Tax (VAT) and Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) waivers to Contractors handling critical power projects across the country.

The resolution was passed by the House Committee on Public Accounts Committee (PAC), chaired by Rep. Bamidele Salam during the resumed investigative hearing into the ‘Accelerated Transmission-Distribution Interface Transmission Lines/Sub-stations’ contracts worth $231,004,002.8 and N18,264,411,235.66 awarded since 2015.

While briefing the Committee, representatives of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Contractors explained that all the contracts have a great total of offshore components since the giant transformers are to be sourced from outside Nigeria.

Worried by the challenges bedeviling the implementation of the power projects, Rep. Adelegbe Oluwatimehin who moved a motion, observed that the issue has become so troubling that an urgent step needs to be taken to rescue the power sector from the bad situation it is grappling with.

In his remarks, Hon. Mohammed Kabir Abdullahi solicited for the House intervention to the committee in a manner that will ensure the completion of the projects, which he said, have already suffered so much delay.

“We will be so much happy and delighted to see the quick resolution of this. TCN, it appears, we got stuck because we have done the necessary-two letters to the Ministry of Power and we copied Finance at that time too, with the expectation that it will get to the Presidency.

“But up till now, we have not gotten any response unfortunately.

“Not only this project. There are other TCN projects also that are affected by this. There are some been funded by World Bank and all that,” Engineer Kabir lamented.

In his intervention, Rep. Salam further wondered why the TCN did not approach other regulatory agencies and stakeholders to support them in getting waivers for the equipment that are trapped in transit especially at the seaports.

“There is no doubt that there have been administrative lapses. No doubt, I went through the letter and actually pointed that out to him earlier.

“If you read the letter you will see that these are part of the things that affects our institutions.

“There are things that need to be done timeously. There are ways of doing things especially in the National Assembly as an Institution.

“I wish agencies know that the powers of the Institution and are able to leverage on such powers and influence to get so many things done.

“You have Committee on Power which oversights the TCN, I suppose and all other agencies.

“If you had approached them all these years, I am sure they would have taken steps to ensure that you get the waivers extended to cover both the IEDC and the VAT components of your projects. But apparently, all those things were not done.

“We are now in a situation where we have to clear that mess.

“We are clearing that mess because, the Federal Government under His Excellency Ahmed Bola Tinubu has made the issue of power a very central point of his priority programs.

“Ours is to make sure that we also support the delivery of that vision. And there is no way it can be delivered if this one is not sorted out.

“Because we are talking about major transformers and other hardwares that will be installed in various places to ensure that we have a better transmission and distribution of power,” he noted.


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