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