The Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has inaugurated newly constituted board of the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) to enhance ongoing efforts to resolve liabilities relating to tariff shortfalls for power distribution companies (DisCos) across the country.
According to a statement on Sunday signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo made the assertion in his remarks delivered virtually at the inauguration of the new 10-member board of NELMCO.
The statement said: “FG moves to resolve tariff shortfalls in power sector as Osinbajo inaugurates Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company’s Board.”
The vice president also mandated the board composed of Ministers of Finance, Power, others to protect the interests of the society, particularly ordinary citizens.
Before Friday’s inauguration, NELMCO has been running without a duly constituted board since the first board was inaugurated in 2013 and dissolved shortly after.
According to the Vice President, “today’s 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 sector in Nigeria.
“This ceremony formally brings on board the invaluable skills and experience of notable and highly respected personalities as members of the Board of NELMCO.
Setting expectations for the new board, Osinbajo told the members that, “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 also ensure that the interests of the various segments of our society, particularly the ordinary citizens, are protected in the implementation of NELMCO’s mandate.”
The Vice President urged the board members “to diligently carry out the responsibilities assigned to the board in accordance with the provisions of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company.”
According to the statement “Some of the provisions of the MEMART of the Company include: To assume and administer the stranded debts of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc pursuant to the provisions of Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.
“To manage post-privatisation liabilities in the power sector as may be directed by the National Council on Privatisation, or any authorized agency of the Federal Government from time to time in line with the power sector reform act 2005.”
In her remarks, the Board Chairperson and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, assured Osinbajo of the board’s preparedness to ensure quick resolution of tariff shortfalls and related issues in the power sector in the most efficient manner.