Nigeria: Reps Call Buhari's Transfer of Nbet to Finance Ministry Illegal, Unconstitutional

15 January 2020

In what it called "illegal and unconstitutional," the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, faulted the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Limited (NBET) be moved from the Ministry of Power to the Ministry of Finance.

Emmanuel Bello, the spokesperson to the power minister, had, a week ago, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that NBET has been moved from the ministry of power to the ministry of finance, sequel to the presidential order.

But, at a roundtable meeting on Tuesday at National Assembly complex in Abuja, the House Committee Chairman on Power, Aliyu Magaji (APC, Jigawa), said only constitutional amendments can make such reshuffling stand.

He added that the law that put NBET under the power ministry has not been repealed, hence, cannot be changed until the constitution is altered.

NBET was created through the Electric Power Sector Reform Act.

"We are talking of law here. I'm sure somebody must have misled somebody somewhere. The law putting NBET under the power ministry is yet to be repealed or reviewed," an Order Paper quoted Mr Magaji to have said.

"So, NBET still remains in the Ministry of Power as far as we the parliament is concerned," he said, 'unless we change the law.'

During Tuesday's meeting, there was a resolution that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission's (NERC) planned upward review of electricity tariff, should be suspended, pending proper consultations on the matter.

The meeting had in attendance, representatives from the Ministry of Power, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), electricity distribution companies (Discos) and other stakeholders.

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