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Reps investigating banks over alleged non-refund of N2b, $3.8m PHCN sales proceeds

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The House of Representatives, on Tuesday agreed to investigate the nation’s banks for the loss of over N2 billion Naira and $3.8 million dollars following the alleged non-payment of interests accruing from the sale of proceeds from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, successor companies.

It also mandated its committees on Power, Banking and Currency and Privatization to carry out the probe and report back in six weeks for further legislative action.

These resolutions followed an adopted motion sponsored by Hon. Chukwuka Onyema.

In his lead debate on the motion, Onyema noted that the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 unbundled the Power Holding Company of Nigeria into a series of 18 successor Companies composed of six Generation Companies, and twelve Distribution companies covering all the 36 States of the Federation and a National Power Transmission Company.

The lawmaker also affirmed that following the divestiture of Federal Government from PHCN through privatization, the company was divided into separate companies known as the Local Electricity Distribution Companies.

It was uncovered that the successor companies made payment to the Federal Government through the following Banks: Standard Chartered Bank, Fidelity Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Access Bank, FCMB, Skye Bank, Sterling Bank, and Unity Bank, but the whopping sums of monies were alleged to have been diverted by those Banks in collaboration with officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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