The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says it has earmarked N2 billion for the purchase of computers and related accessories in 2023.
Mr Sanusi Garba, the Chairman, NERC, said this at a hearing on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) in Abuja on Monday.
Garba said that in utility regulation, information technology was very important as it was not proper to rely on information given by licensees alone.
“So we are investing heavily in technology so we have credible information about quality of service. Without technology, we can not know that a feeder in an area is out for 48 hours and people are in darkness.
“So over the next few years, we will be investing heavily on technology for data aggregation in 2021, the budget for computers, not just hardware but the software that drives the machine is N1.5 billion.
“And we are spending N2.5 billion in 2023 and N1 billion in 2025 and we will be done; we want to see what is happening in all the feeders directly from the commission and not relying on licensees.
“So investing N5 billion on technology today is nothing,’’ he said.
Garba said that the commission had engaged auditors to audit its account for the 2021 financial year and should be completed in October.
He said that the operating surplus of the commission in 2019 upon reconciliation, amounted to N3.5 billion in addition to a surplus balance of N900 million, the commission remitted N4.65 billion.
For 2020, he said that the auditor’s report revealed that the commission’s operating surplus was N3.8 billion and that reconciliation was ongoing with the Office of the Account General of the Federation after which remittances would be made.
Earlier, Rep. Stanley Olajide (APC-Oyo) observed that the projection of NERC for 2023, that N2 billion had been earmarked for computer equipment and over N1 billion for training.
He said that the committee was interested in knowing what was spent in previous years on computers to justify the amount budgeted for 2023 and earn value for money.
He said that the country was going to borrow to fund the 2023 budget and it was important that Nigerians get value for any amount spent by government agencies.
The Chairman, Rep. Abdullahi Saidu (APC-Niger) directed the Office of the Accountant General (OAGF) and Fiscal Regulatory Commission (FRC) to sit with NERC and reconcile the 2021 account.
He said that the country was in need of funds frowning at the delay in reconciliation which was impeding funds from going into the federation account.
“We want a comprehensive report on NERC, and that must involve OAGF, FRC and NERC, we will give you between now and next Monday to do the reconciliation.
“Let us endeavor to quickly close out on their reconciliation, we need the funds, the country needs the fund; we want to see the funds remitted latest by month end.
“We are going to heavily carry out oversight on NERC, all we are interested in is to ensure efficiency in your operations and cost management, it is something we can do together to better the lot of our people,’’ he said
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