The House of Representatives has passed for second reading, a bill proposing royalty for communities hosting power stations and facilities like it applies in the petroleum sector.
In the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 before the House, host communities will be entitled to five per cent of the revenue generated by all generating companies.
The proposal sponsored by Babajimi Benson, is titled ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend the Electric Power Sector Reforms Act 2005 to Provide for the Reservation of 5 Per cent of All Revenue Accruing from Power Generated by All Power Generating Companies in Nigeria for the Development of the Host Communities and Other Related Matters.’
Leading the debate on the bill, Benson noted that it is holistic and nationalistic in its impact, as GENCOs exist across all geopolitical zones of the country. He noted that there are 23 GENCOs operating in Sapele, Jebba, Egbin, Ughelli, Shiroro, Afam and Kainji.
The lawmaker listed others to be in Katsina (windmill), Olorunsogo (Ogun State), Omoku (Rivers state), Benin, Alaoji (Abisa State), Geregu (Kogi State), Egbema (Imo State) and several other parts of the country.
He said, “The host communities are in dire need for development and this can only be achieved through the provision of a special fund which this amendment seeks to achieve.
“Monies accruing from this fund will be applied to sustainable infrastructural development projects, job creation, improvement of education, empowerment and skills acquisition for youths, women and other vulnerable groups, provision of medical facilities and personnel and any other developmental project agreed to consequent upon a needs assessment.
“It is pertinent to note that provision of certain funds for the development of host communities is a global best practice. These funds, often referred to as Trust Funds, exist in Canada, Namibia, United Kingdom, Kyrgyzstan and neighbouring Ghana.”