• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Controversy trails N40bn metering deal in power sector

A tariff for boiled frogs for boiled frogs

A N40 billion contract under the Ministry of Power for mass metering projects in Nigeria has come under scrutiny.

Adebayo Adelabu, minister of power, had on March 17, 2024, announced the award of an N40 billion contract to a company called De Haryor Global Services Limited. Of the amount, N12.7 billion is for the metering of Army formations across the country.

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“The mass metering in Army formations nationwide will enable us to know what is being consumed on a monthly basis to ensure appropriate billings and ease collections. The overall intention is to eliminate and make estimated billing a thing of the past,” he was quoted as saying in a statement signed by Bolaji Tunji, his special adviser on strategic communication and media relations.

Adetayo Adegbemle, convener and executive director of PowerUp Nigeria, a consumer rights and policy advocacy organisation in the power sector, called for the review of the award of the N40 billion metering contract to De Haryor Global Services Limited.

“De Haryor Global Services Limited is not a registered meter manufacturing/assemblers company, neither is it on the list of manufacturers/assemblers at the Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Trade and Investment, and is not on the first schedule of NERC Approved MAPs.

“There’s no evidence of public tender/bid for this contract, neither is there any evidence of meeting the Procurement Act procedures. If anyone insists there’s a public tender, let them provide the names of other companies that bid for the installations. There’s no budgetary allocation for this project, neither in the Ministry of Power, nor the Ministry of Finance,” Adegbemle said in a note seen by BusinessDay.

BusinessDay could not confirm that the company, De Haryor Global Services Limited, has handled any installation of this magnitude.

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The latest data from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) showed 99 companies were permitted to carry out metering operations in the country between 2021 and 2024.

According to the list, 15 companies were manufacturers, 23 importers, three vendors, and 58 corporate installers of meters. De Haryor Global Services did not make the list.

BusinessDay’s findings showed that De Haryor Global Services was registered on June 18, 2009, as a private unlimited company and its current status is unknown.

According to its website, the company specialises in sales of electrical meters, maintenance, installation of mechanical and electrical gadgets, and upgrading of old electrical services, “and is adept at any job, whether it is part of new construction, remodelling, or a repair job.”

BusinessDay contacted De Haryor Global Services but the company refused to give clarity or entertain any questions about its antecedents in the power sector.

“All the information or clarifications you might need has been published by the federal ministry of power. We are unavailable to give other clarifications or answers other than what has already been published,” it said.

Reacting to questions on the antecedents of De Haryor Global Services in Nigeria’s power sector, Tunji, said due process was followed in the contract award.

According to him, the contract was awarded under former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration but was not funded.

He said: “The previous administration awarded the contract, but it was not funded then. There were three bidders for it, and the best bid was from De Haryor Global.

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“Also, De Haryor was not an SPV; it is a company that has existed since 2009. So, due process was followed for this project.”