The Federal Government has inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Committee on ground rent and tenement rates for the inherited assets of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
According to a statement by the Deputy Director, Press at the ministry, Etore E. Thomas on Thursday, the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman inaugurated the committee on Tuesday.
Speaking during the inauguration, Mamman said the setting up of the Committee became necessary following in-depth discussions between the Ministry and the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) regarding the volume of outstanding Ground Rent and Tenement Rates liabilities, NELMCO’s request for the review of the States’ and Local Governments’ demands, the complexities inherent in the demands from each State and LGA as well as the necessity of a workable solution for the settlement of these liabilities.
Mamman explained that despite much discussions and deliberations, there had been a lack of effective progress in the resolution of the outstanding Ground Rent and Tenement Rates liabilities. He therefore, charged the Committee to conceptualize and actualize a workable Ground Rent and Tenement Rate settlement strategy.
According to the Minister, the newly inaugurated Committee comprised of members from key and relevant Federal Government Agencies, while pointing out that their responsibilities among other things, would include: review requests for Ground Rent and Tenement Rates by the States and Local Governments for lands acquired by PHCN, determine a verification, reconciliation and negotiation format applicable to all Ground Rent and Tenement Rates demands as well as determine and reconcile the requests for Ground Rent and Tenement Rates.
He said the work of the team is also to review related Gazettes, Circulars, Land Use Acts, NEPA Act 1972, Letters of Exchange and all other relevant documentations associated with Ground Rent and Tenement Rates demands. The Committee is to carry out any such assignment that may be helpful to the resolution of the Ground Rent and Tenement Rates liabilities.
Speaking further, he said they are also saddled with the responsibility of making appropriate recommendations for the minister’s approval as well as recommend an appropriate payment structure and strategy for the minister’s consideration and approval.
Mamman charged members to consider the assignment as a call to national duty and ensure results were achieved within specified timelines.
In her speech, the Chairman of the 8-member Committee and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Didi Walson-Jack, while thanking the minister for the faith reposed on them to serve in such capacity, promised to deliver on the mandate, saying the Committee would be conscientious and assiduous in the discharge of their duties.
She expressed optimism that members of the Committee have the requisite energy and intellect to cover the enormous mandate. In her words, “I am encouraged by the membership of the Committee that we have the skills and experience to cover the wide range of areas of expertise”.
Other members of the Committee are: MD/CE, NELMCO, Chief of Staff to the Minister of Power, Director of Finance and Accounts, Ministry of Power, Director, Lands, Ministry of Works and Housing, representative of the Ministry of Finance, representative of Ministry of Justice and the Executive Director, Liability Management, NELMCO, as Secretary to the Committee.