In a decisive move, the House of Representatives issued a call to the federal government on Tuesday, urging the swift issuance of Value Added Tax (VAT) and Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) waivers for contractors undertaking crucial power projects nationwide.
The resolution was put forth during the investigative hearing conducted by the House Committee on Public Accounts Committee (PAC), chaired by Rep. Bamidele Salam. The committee delved into the contracts for the ‘Accelerated Transmission-Distribution Interface Transmission Lines/Sub-stations,’ totaling $231,004,002.8 and N18,264,411,235.66, awarded since 2015. Representatives from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the contractors revealed that all contracts involved significant offshore components, necessitating the sourcing of giant transformers from outside Nigeria.
Expressing concern over the challenges hindering the power project’s implementation, Rep. Adelegbe Oluwatimehin moved a motion, emphasizing the urgency of taking immediate steps to rescue the power sector from its current predicament.
Hon. Mohammed Kabir Abdullahi sought the House’s intervention, emphasizing the projects’ delayed completion. He highlighted the lack of response from relevant authorities, despite efforts by the TCN to seek resolution through official channels, including letters to the Ministry of Power and Finance.
In his intervention, Rep. Bamidele Salam questioned why the TCN had not engaged other regulatory agencies and stakeholders to secure waivers for equipment stuck in transit, particularly at seaports. He acknowledged administrative lapses and stressed the importance of timely action, expressing the need for agencies to leverage the powers of the National Assembly to address such issues.
Rep. Salam emphasized the critical role of power in the federal government’s priority programs, noting that addressing the VAT and IDEC challenges is essential for the successful implementation of major transformers and hardware installations across the country, crucial for a more efficient transmission and distribution of power.