President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday in Abuja presented $8.8 billion National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) share certificates to the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Presenting the certificates to the beneficiaries, including the Federal Government, Jonathan said that the exercise was in line with an agreement reached between the Federal Government and the 36 states over the deductions from the Excess Crude Account for the financing of the NIPP and Ibom Power Plant Project.
It would be recalled that prior to the signing of the agreement, the state governments were demanding equitable shares corresponding to monetary values in the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), Railway Modernisation Deductions and Ibom Power Plant Project Deductions.
About $8.425 billion was deducted from the Excess Crude Account for the execution of the NIPP projects, while another $80 million sourced from the Federation Account was spent on the Ibom Power Plant Project.
Jonathan, however, said the share certificates represented the investments of all the three tiers of government in the NIPP programme.
“You all remember that it was during President Obasanjo’s time that some monies were set aside from the excess crude and the Federal Government was directly funding the NIPP projects with that money.
“Then, the chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Ahmad Tukur, took the Federal Government to court, not even the state governors, saying the president has no power to spend money belonging to the three tiers of government.
“Of course, that frustrated the programme until when we came on board; the NIPP was stalled until we will now have to say in that case let us negotiate with the governors and let it be properly done, that is an investment where every state, every local government has an investment based on their own amounts in the excess crude (account).
“So, those details were worked out.”
He said similar share certificates on the Sovereign Wealth Fund would soon be ready for distribution to the states, local governments and the FCT.
In his remarks, Vice President Namadi Sambo reassured that the 10 ongoing thermal power projects under the NIPP across the country would be ready for inauguration by December.
“Mr. President, let me restate the commitment of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company in ensuring the delivery of 10 power thermal power projects and all the transmission and distribution projects by the end of December this year.
“Significant progress had been made and we are confident that you will deliver on your promise to Nigerians, especially on power. We are very proud of the progress made so far.”
Sambo, who is also the chairman of the board of the NIPP, commended the president for his efforts and determination aimed at transforming the nation’s power sector.
TONY AILEMEN, Abuja