A bill which seeks to reserve five per cent of the revenues accruing from power generated from power generating companies for development of the host communities has passed its second reading at the House of Representatives.
Hon Babajimi Benson, sponsor of the bill, explained the need to set aside certain funds to address the adverse effects on the environment, human and aquatic lives on host communities of power generating stations across the country, particularly thermal pollution from power generating stations.
He said the monies accruing from the fund will be utilized on developmental projects, creation of jobs, improvement of education, empowerment and skills acquisition for youths, women and other vulnerable groups, provision of medical facilities and any other developmental project agreed to, consequent upon needs assessment.
Hon. Benson, who represents Ikorodu Federal Constituency of Lagos, noted that the electricity sector is unique among industrial sectors, adding that it is not possible to produce, transmit and consume power without significant environmental impact.
Therefore the passage of the bill will help to ameliorate the sufferings and infrastructure deficit often suffered by these host communities and in line with global best practices.
He further disclosed that the proposed legislation seeks to amend the Power Sector Reform Act 2005 and that the purpose of the proposed amendment is to provide for the development of communities hosting power generating companies across the country.
The money received will be managed by a Trustee to be appointed by representatives of both the host communities and generating companies (GENCOs).
He emphasized that power generation, transmission and usage usually cause harmful environmental and health challenges for host communities, therefore host communities of the generating companies (GENCOs) shall be entitled to five per cent of the firms’ previous year’s actual operating expenditure.
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, presided over the plenary session