The House of Representatives is considering a bill to set up Host Communities Trust Fund for communities hosting power plants in the country.
According to the bill, the proposed five per cent is to be drawn from the revenue accruing to electricity generation companies (GENCOs) to host communities of electricity-generating assets.
The bill, sponsored by Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos), seeks to amend the Electric Power Sector Reforms Act 2005 and it passed for second reading.
The bill seeks to amend Section 77 of the Act. The proposed new section 77 makes provision for the composition of the fund and management.
Section 77 (2) reads, “Without prejudice to any existing right or rights that may be accruing to host communities under this Act or any other enactment, five per cent of the revenue accruing from power generated by the various power generating companies in Nigeria shall be set aside for the development of the respective host communities.”
Subsection 3 adds, “The revenue referred to in Subsection 2 of this section shall be received, managed and administered by a trustee to be appointed by the GENCOs and representative of the host communities, upon agreement between the host communities and GENCOs on one part and the trustee on the other part.”
Leading the debate on the bill, Mr Benson said the fund will help to ameliorate the “untold hardship and infrastructural degradation often suffered by communities hosting power generating firms.”
He said the legal framework will change the discretionary powers in Corporate Social Responsibility as currently practised by the GENCOS.
“What currently entails is merely corporate social responsibility (CSR) which is solely at the discretion of the GENCOs. This amendment will compel them to earmark a percentage of their revenue specifically for community development in their settlor communities.
“Electricity sector is known to have a significant impact on water habitat and species. Power generation leads to the destruction of aquatic life and consequently the disruption of sources of livelihood for host communities, especially the fishing communities. In particular, hydro dams, which is a major source of our power generation in Nigeria, and transmission lines have significant effects on water and biodiversity,” Mr Benson said.
The bill was first introduced to the House on the 23 February, 2020. It is similar to the Host communities development fund in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
When the bill was put to question, it was passed unopposed and then referred to the committee on power.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...