Investigations have revealed that the Managing Director of the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), Marilyn Amobi, fraudulently paid at least N2 billion to two power generating companies.
Documents obtained by Leaks NG have shown also revealed that Mrs Amobi, who was made the substantive boss of NBET in July 2016, was also involved in a series of corrupt acts such as subversion of board approvals and infraction of procurement laws.
According to reports, few weeks after she was confirmed as the managing director of NBET which manages the electricity pool in the country’s electricity supply industry, Mrs Amobi started overpaying two power generating companies – Omotosho Electric Genco and Olorunsogo Electric Company.
This was a flagrant violation of the details of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) the companies signed with the government in February and August 2016, respectively.
The PPA is an agreement between NBET and power generating plants for the sale and purchase of energy generated by the plants. Embedded within the PPA are the Gas Supply Agreement (GSA) that covers the supply of natural gas to the generating plant and the Gas Transportation Agreement (GTA), which is an agreement between gas transporters and power generating plants.
According to the PPA, to qualify for full payment, generating plants must provide evidence that they have active GSA and GTA or else the power purchase agreement would be deemed inactive and would only receive payment for the power they supplied.
“Seller (Omotosho Genco) hereby agrees that any claim for Available Capacity payment under the PPA are conditional on the Seller providing evidence acceptable to the Buyer (NBET) confirming that it has a legally binding and enforceable Gas Supply and Aggregation Agreement and Gas Transportation Agreement, in accordance with clause 3.2.2 and 4.2.1 of the PPA,” the agreement obtained by Leaks NG stated.
However, despite the fact that Omotosho did not provide evidence of gas supply aggregation and transportation, the company continued to tender request for full payment for 20 months.
According to the document in possession of Leaks NG, the over-invoicing was detected in October 2017 following an NBET internal audit.
On September 22, 2016, NBET had written to Omotosho requesting that it fulfils the condition for the PPA. The generating company was first given a 30-day grace to provide the necessary documentation. The window to provide the document was later extended to 90 days, yet it never provided the document.
For instance, in June 2017, Omotosho supplied energy to the tune of 33.16 megawatts but invoiced up to 161.74 megawatts.
This implies that Omotosho laid claim to an excess of 128.58 megawatts as excess capacity for the cycle.
For this capacity, Omotosho requested for payment of N1,023,532,574 instead of N209,824,177, leaving an excess of N813,708,397 for the capacity in June 2016.
Leaks NG could not lay hold to all invoices issued by the companies. The two we obtained showed that NBET made partial payments to the companies.
In one of the invoices, Mrs Amobi paid Omotosho N339, 813, 418 in October 2016. The fund is part payment for July 2016 energy and capacity.
On the same date: October 11, 2016, NBET paid Olorunsogo N372, 498, 731 also as part payment for July.
These payments are clearly in breach of the PPA and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) order of Transitional Stage Electricity Market (TEM).
Order IV of The TEM states that: “Gencos without effective PPAs shall be paid for their delivered energy and delivered capacity by NBET (Delivered capacity for the purposes of this order means the capacity equivalent of the energy delivered at Gencos busbar.”
Other allegations against Amobi are: Illegal payments to lawfirms, illegal payments to consultant, transfer of staff without board approval.
Meanwhile, when contacted to respond to the series of allegations against her, Mrs Amobi allegedly rained abuses on Leaks NG reporter.
Without first listening to the reporter’s questions, in a statement, replete with swear words, the MD she said she would not comment on any of the allegations because the issues are in court.
“If they are things about NBET that are currently in court, there is really no need…some of them are in court. I’m sure some people brought this to you.
“You’ve written a story about us before of us sending some people to America which of course didn’t happen. These are issues that are with EFCC, ICPC and even in the court,” she said.