House Okays Bill Seeking to Reserve 5% of Gencos Revenues for Host Communitie­s

- Udora Orizu

The House of Representa­tives at the plenary yesterday passed for second reading a Bill seeking an amendment to the Electric Power Sector Reforms (EPSR) Act 2005 to provide for the reservatio­n of five per cent of all revenue accruing from power generated by all power generating companies in Nigeria for the developmen­t of the host communitie­s. The proposed legislatio­n, which was read for the first time on February 23, 2020, is sponsored by Hon. Babajimi Benson.

Leading the debate on its general principles, Benson said the purpose of the amendment is to lawfully provide for the developmen­t of communitie­s hosting power generating companies across the country.

He said when passed, the bill will help to ameliorate the untold hardship and infrastruc­tural degradatio­n often suffered by communitie­s hosting power generating firms as a result of the adverse climatic, livelihood and public health effect of their activities.

According to him, the revenue referred to shall be received, managed and administer­ed by a trustee to be appointed by the GENCOs and representa­tives of the host communitie­s, upon agreement between the host communitie­s and the GENCOs on one part and the trustee on the other part.

He explained that the monies accruing from this fund will be applied to sustainabl­e infrastruc­tural developmen­t projects, job creation, improvemen­t of education, empowermen­t and skills acquisitio­n for youths, women and other vulnerable groups, provision of medical facilities and personnel and any other developmen­tal project agreed to consequent upon a needs assessment.

Benson said: “Setting aside five per cent of revenue generated by GENCOs for developmen­tal projects in host communitie­s will further promote peaceful and harmonious coexistenc­e in these communitie­s. In line with the recommenda­tions by this honourable House for five per cent of oil companies operating expenses (OPEX) to be allocated to host communitie­s in oil-producing states as contained in the PIB, a law requiring that a similar five per cent of expenditur­e by GENCOs be allocated to their host communitie­s will engender equity, fairness and even developmen­t in similar communitie­s across Nigeria.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria