Ebonyi Assembly limits tenure of caretaker chairmen, summons EEDC boss

Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 14 August 2015 | 6,262 times

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Ebonyi State House of Assembly has limited the tenure of appointed Caretaker Chairmen and their Committee members charged with running the affairs of local governments in the state to one year.

The House has also invited the Abakaliki Manager of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to appear before to explain the firms outrageous billion of electricity consumers in the state capital.

This were the outcomes of the House's sitting last Wednesday

Under the latest amendment, Caretaker Chairmen would no longer be qualified to stand for election into the office of the Executive Chairman of their local governments immediately after serving out their term, until after three years of leaving office.

The Ebonyi State Local Government Councils and Development Centres Law was initially passed in 2008 and first amended in 2002.

The current amendment also stipulates the appointment of a Coordinator and not more than eight Management Committee members for a Development Centre.

It equally empowers the Local Government Service Commission, on the recommendation of the Commissioner for Local Government, to appoint a Voucher Officer who shall be signatory to the withdrawals of money from the account of Local Government Areas and Development Centres.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser (Media) to the Speaker of the House, Mr Tony Nwizi, the amendments followed the consideration and adoption of recommendations by the committee raised by the House on the review of the law. The report was presented by the chairman of the committee, Barr. Frank Onwe.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru, having resumed plenary after the committee of the whole, put the motion on adoption of the amendments to vote and the lawmakers unanimously supported the motion, thereby paving the way for the amendment to pass the third reading.

Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State House of Assembly has summoned the Manager of EEDC over alleged fraud and extortion of electricity consumers in Abakaliki.

The House adopted the resolution to summon the EEDC boss following a Matter of Urgent Public Importance presented by Hon Humphrey Nwuruku, representing Ikwo North Constituency.

Nwuruku lamented the overbilling of Ebonyi electricity consumers and prayed the House to compel EEDC to provide the consumers with prepaid meters. He noted that consumers who have conventional meters were subjected to estimated billings because EEDC staff do not read the metres to determine the level of their consumption, adding that EEDC’s inability to provide prepaid meter (PPM) should be considered as fraud against consumers.

The lawmaker argued that electricity, including roads and water, were social infrastructure that enhance development and advancement of society, stressing that challenges in the power sector as a public corporation influenced the Federal Government's decision to partner with the private sector in power distribution.

But he expressed worry that the way and manner the EEDC was going about the whole business negates the lofty goals for which power supply was privatised.

He lamented that key players in the industry had reprehensibly abused measures put in place to check abuse of the programme, describing as outrageous and inexplicable, the inequality in billing method of EEDC on Ebonyi consumers.

His colleagues, in their contributions, concurred with him and resolved to invite the EEDC Manager in Abakailiki to appear before the House to make necessary explanations.

•Photo shows Governor Dave Umahi.

Source: News Express

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