The Nigerian Senate has proposed 10 percent of total revenue for Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) for host communities.
David Umaru (APC, Niger East), in his lead debate titled “A Bill for an Act to amend the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission, (Establishment Act), 2010,” said the proposed amendments would give legal backing to the 10 per cent HYPPADEC charge being deducted from the invoices of companies, including power generating and distributing companies, and retained by various government agencies, including the Market Operator (MO), the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc. (NBET).
Umaru said the proposed amendments would reduce from 30 percent to 10 percent, the charge imposed on the total revenue generated from the operations of any company or authority operating hydroelectric dams in any member state of the commission.
The senator noted that host communities have been ravaged by flood and others afflicted by water-borne diseases, environmental pollution and loss of lives and property.
He stressed that the plight of communities in the HYPPADEC member states remained an issue of great concern to many of the stakeholders.
He noted that section 14 (2) (a) of the principal Act which the bill proposes to amend provides that “30 percent of the total revenue generated by any company or authority from the operation of any hydroelectric dams in any member-state of the commission shall be remitted to HYPPADEC as one of the main sources of funds to execute its mandate under the Principal Act.”
He added, “The demand was based on the fact that it became impracticable for such a large percentage of the total revenue of hydro-based electricity generating companies to be remitted to HYPPADEC without having an adverse effect on the performance of these entities, considering the capital-intensive nature of the industry and the myriad of problems inherited by these investors following the unbundling of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).”
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu in his remarks, who presided during the plenary referred the issue to the Committee on Finance which is to report back within four weeks.