Indications emerged Thursday that the nationwide supply of power which dropped by as much as 1000 megawatts (MW) last week is yet to pick up again despite the Federal Government’s vehement denial of such fall.
While the Federal Ministry of Power and Presidential Taskforce on Power (PTFP) have maintained that there was no drop in power generation and distribution across the nation, residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) who spoke to THISDAY explained otherwise, stating that there has been drastic reduction in the amount of electricity hours allocated to them in their various homes.
Although, they could not phantom the reason, they however corroborated the reported drop in power supply, noting that power supply within the city may be reliable in some parts of the city centres like Maitama, Wuse 2, Asokoro and Garki, the situation is however not the same in other satellite towns and suburbs of the city like Kubwa, Karu and Lugbe as the increased amount of hours of light they hitherto enjoyed some weeks back has thus reduced.
Some of them stated that power distribution facilities like transformer in their vicinity which broke down some days back are yet to be fixed, alleging a gradual return to business as usual with workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
But the public relations officer of PHCN Abuja Distribution Company, Adegoke Adebowale, who spoke to THISDAY on phone stated that the reverse was the case.
He added that the distribution company has not received power in shortage from its requirements within the last couple of days.
Adebowale said: “We are currently on zero megawatts, meaning that we request power as much as we want and in the last couple of days, we have had up to 300MW steadily allocated to us, so I do not understand claims by people that power supply has dropped.”
Meanwhile, the management of the PHCN has reacted to the report of a Federal Government probe panel which suggested that it may have sold its estate located at Kado district of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) without remitting the proceeds to the relevant official accounts.
PHCN in an advertorial yesterday exonerated itself from any wrongful act in the management of £2.3 million found to have been domiciled in a foreign account as well as the sale of the Kado estate which it had transferred its ownership to NEPA/PHCN Superannuation Fund.
The fund and estate are both associated to its Superannuation Pension Fund scheme which had come under serious scrutiny as a result of alleged embezzlement.
Although, it accepted that the pension scheme had maintained foreign investments based on a supplemented trust deed as far back as 1958 and that the investments have two foreign managers and custodians.
Namely, Crown Agents Asset Management Limited and Barclays Bank Trust Limited, the company noted that it has made efforts to repatriate the investment from the foreign account.
An investigative panel set up by the Federal Government to audit existing financial activities around the Superannuation Pension Fund had discovered that parts of the company’s total pension sum are stashed away in a United Kingdom (UK) bank.
The amount totalling £2,204,814.18 million was discovered to have accumulated from pension deposits for expatriate workers of the utility by the company long before it metamorphosed into PHCN; the money has been in UK’s Barclays Bank for close to 21 years now.
The panel which was chaired by former Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF), Mr. Joseph Ajiboye, reported that PHCN has in the past 21 years failed to fund its in-house pension scheme, thus, putting the future of its retiring workers in jeopardy.
It disclosed that the company had no money to fund the pension scheme.
But PHCN in the advert explained that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) had in 2006 sold the Kado estate buildings to members of the public under the disposal of Federal Government Housing Exercise without the consent of the board of PHCN.
It stated that proceeds of the sale were never remitted to the PHCN Superannuation Fund by the FCTA and that its board is currently challenging the sale in a Federal High Court in Abuja.
“PHCN had in 2005 transfered the ownership of Kado Estate, Abuja to NEPA/PHCN Superannuation Fund in order to improve its financial standing. Unfortunately, the same estate was sold without the consent of PHCN nor board of PHCN Superannuation Fund to members of the public in 2006 by Federal Capital Territory Administration under the disposal of Federal Government Housing Exercise.
The proceeds of the sale were never remitted to PHCN Superannuation Fund. This is contrary to the erroneous impression being created that management of PHCN sold the estate and did not remit the proceeds to the Superannuation Fund. The board of PHCN Superannuation Fund is currently challenging the sale in a Federal High Court, Abuja,” the advert read.