Reps Probe ‘Diversion’ Of N2bn, $3.8m From Sale Of PHCN

The house of representatives has resolved to investigate the alleged diversion of N2 billion and $3.8 million interests on the proceeds of the sale of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

The decision followed the unanimous adoption of a motion by a lawmaker from Anambra state Chukwuka Onyema,, at the plenary on Tuesday.

Onyema had said the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 unbundled the PHCN into 18 successor companies.

He said the companies were six generation companies, and 12 distribution companies covering the 36 states of the federation as well as the National Power Transmission Company.

Onyema said following the divestiture of the federal government from PHCN through privatisation, the company was divided into separate companies known as the local electricity distribution companies.

He said the successor companies made payment to the federal government through various banks including Standard Chartered Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Access Bank, FCMB, Skye Bank, Sterling Bank, Zenith Bank and Unity Bank.

“The accrued interests due to the federal government to the tune of N2 billion and $3.8 million were alleged to have been diverted by those banks in collaboration with officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria,’’ Onyema said.

The house, therefore, resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to carry probe the alleged diversion.

The committee was asked to report back to the house within six weeks for further legislative action.