The Lagos State government has launched a probe into the activities of its six Independent Power Plants (IPPs) across the state over alleged fraud and over-invoicing of energy consumed, findings has revealed.
The six IPPs, initiated in 2013 to deliver a combined capacity of 47MW, are; 12.55 MW Akute Independent Power Plant, 10MW Lagos Island 1&2 Independent Power Plant, 10.4MW Alausa Independent Power Plant, 8.8MW Mainland Independent Power Plant and 6MW Lekki Peninsula Integrated Power Project
The six IPPS were built under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to address the acute shortage of electricity to critical public utilities in Lagos which include public hospitals, the state secretariat, Alausa, Light-Up Lagos project and the water corporation, among others.
Some of the power plants had in the last two years been operating far below capacity utilisation, a situation that has not gone down well with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
A source who is close to the deal on the condition of anonymity disclosed that Sanwo-Olu, in his determination not to leave any stone unturned in a bid to guard against future occurrence, hired forensic power experts to carry out a comprehensive audit of the IPPs
The source added that part of the terms of reference of the independent power auditors was to ascertain the role played by government and some PPP partners in sabotaging the efforts of government through over-invoicing and poor maintenance of the IPPs, which has led to its poor performance.
The source added that the auditors, having completed its findings and recommendations some weeks ago have submitted same to the state government.
‘‘I can confirm to you that the power auditors have submitted its report and some of their findings are mind boggling. Indeed, I can confirm to you that there was over-invoicing of energy consumed’.’
The source explained further that the IPP was conceived to guarantee some of the state public utilities uninterrupted power supply and to reduce its public electricity bill by N200 million monthly.
However, he said things took a different dimension when the IPPs’ electricity bill started hitting roof top, netting about N650 million monthly.
Source: The Sun