The Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), has informed the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology that it was under a debt burden of about N5.78 billion owed contractors in executing zonal intervention projects of National Assembly members, between 2009 and 2012.
Director General of the agency, Professor Jidere Bala, stated this Thursday, while reeling out some of the challenges being faced by the commission before the Beni Lar-led committee.
The DG after presenting the commission’s 2022 budget proposal of about N9.7 billion for which he stated that personnel cost may gulp N2.35 billion, overhead cost at N358.55 million and capital projects put at N7.006 billion.
He said more challenges include inadequate physical infrastructure at the headquarters where he said a building is required, as well as completion of permanent sites of three research centres in Bauchi, Ilorin and Lagos.
He requested that the DMO takes over debts owed contractors and there should be allocation of “adequate appropriation and release of funds to complete the permanent sites in our Research Centres in Bauchi, Ilorin and Lagos and a new building at the headquarters known as Nigeria Energy House.
Earlier in her remarks, chairman of the committee, Lar said the committee’s focus in this 2022 budget is to see direct transfer of profitable and technical renewable energy skills to Nigerian youths, adding that the Energy Commission of Nigeria can no longer afford to shelve its expertise that can beneficially empower our teeming youth populace.
“The commission, no doubt, has popularised the adoption and penetration of renewable energy use in Nigeria but must now deploy workable strategies to inculcate lives skills set to our working age groups particularly the youth for meaningful economic livelihood on renewable energy resources.
“This committee with renewed vigor will strategically and consistently engage ECN to birth a new, reliable and futuristic source of foreign exchange earner for Nigeria with the renewable energy sector.”