RURAL ELECTRIFICATION BOARD LAW
A Law to establish a Board for the supply of electricity in those parts of Cross River State in which the National Electric Power Authority does not for the time being establish, maintain and operate electricity undertakings, or render electricity services to consumers, and for purposes connected therewith.
(18th June, 1976)
Establishment, Constitution and Functions of the Board
There is established for the State a body to be known as the Rural Electrification Board (hereafter in this Law referred to as “the Board”), which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and which shall have power to sue and be sued in its corporate name.
(1) The Board shall consist of—
(a) a Chairman;
(b) the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Utilities or his representative;
(c) the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works or some other person as such Permanent Secretary may designate in writing to represent him;
(d) the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development and Co-operatives or his representative;
(e) five other persons to be appointed by the Governor.
(2) A member not being a member by virtue of an office held by him shall be appointed by the Governor.
The provisions contained in the Schedule to this Law shall have effect with respect to the proceedings of the Board and to other matters therein mentioned.
It shall be the function of the Board, subject to the provisions of this Law—
(a) to establish and manage electricity undertakings in those parts of the State where the National Electric Power Authority does not for the time being establish, maintain and operate any electricity undertakings or render electricity services to consumers;
(b) to assume control of and manage such electricity undertakings and installations within the State as may be given to it by an authority having power to do so;
(c) to ensure that electricity supply to consumers within the areas under its authority is secured at reasonable prices;
(d) for the above purpose, to generate, transmit, transform, distribute and sell electricity either in bulk or otherwise to individual consumers within the Board’s area of authority;
(e) to construct, reconstruct, maintain and operate electricity generating stations, transmission lines, distribution lines, transformer stations and such other efficient performance of the functions of the Board specified above.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Law, the Board shall, for the purpose of carrying out its functions under this Law, have power to carry on all activities which, for the performance of its functions, are necessary, advantageous or convenient.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the power of the Board shall include powers—
(a) to adopt with or without amendments such master plans for the maintenance and development of its undertakings as its officers may prepare and submit from time to time;
(b) to construct, reconstruct, maintain and operate electricity undertakings necessary for the discharge of its functions under this Law as the Board deems fit;
(c) to carry any electricity conductor through, across or under any street or any place laid out or intended as a street, and after giving reasonable notice in writing to the owner or occupier thereof, into, through or under any lands whatsoever either paying therefor compensation for the land or making good any damage done;
(d) to enter upon any land at any time for the purpose of laying, examining repairing or removing any electricity installation belonging to the Board;
(e) at any time between the hours of six o’clock in the morning and six o’clock in the afternoon, or in cases of urgency at any other time, to enter into or upon any building into or upon which electricity connection by the Board has been made or service has been provided or upon which electricity is supplied, so as—
(i) to inspect any connection or service or meter and to ascertain whether there is any unauthorised connection or extensions;
(ii) to ascertain the amount of electricity consumed; or
(iii) to disconnect the supply of such electricity to any building;
(f) to withhold or suspend, stop, turn off or divert the supply of electricity through or by means of any connection or service either wholly or in part whenever the Board shall think necessary or proper and without (on the part of the consumer) prejudice to any liability to pay any electricity bill or other sums due or to become due under this Law;
(g) to enter into such contracts as may be necessary, advantageous or expedient for the performance of its functions under this Law, including contracts for the construction or extension of electricity scheme or the bulk supply of materials or stores;
(h) to acquire, purchase, lease, mortgage, hold, construct, manufacture or maintain any property whatsoever whether movable or immovable, required for or in connection with the performance of its function and to sell, dispose of, or otherwise deal with such property or any part thereof;
(i) to enter into any agreement with any person for the supply, construction, manufacture, maintenance or repair, by that person, of any property whether movable or immovable, which is necessary or appropriate for the purpose of the Board, subject to the same provisions as in paragraph (d) of this subsection, which provisions shall apply in respect of this paragraph with any necessary adaptations and modifications;
(j) to do anything for the purpose of advancing the skill of persons employed by the Board or the efficiency of the equipment of the Board or the manner in which the equipment is operated, including the provisions of facilities for training, education and research;
(k) to accept or acquire and hold any security of any kind in any form whatsoever;
(l) to surrender, retransfer or reassign any security held by the Board whether upon exchange for another security or upon discharge;
(m) in relation to any security held by the Board, to exercise any power, right or privilege in respect thereof which a private individual would be capable of exercising in like circumstances;
(n) to make, draw, accept or indorse, negotiable instruments;
(o) to invest money standing to its credit, and not for the time being required for its purpose under this Law, in stocks, shares, debentures or other securities whatsoever approved by the Commissioner, and with the approval of the Commissioner, to sell such stocks, shares, debentures or other securities;
(p) to enter into any commitments, agreements or other arrangements in respect of the provision, distribution, supply or sale of electricity;
(q) to insure its property against any or all forms of risks;
(r) with the approval of the Governor, to write off bad debts.
(3) The preceding provisions of this section relate only to the capacity of the Board as a statutory corporation and nothing in the said provisions shall be construed as authorising the disregard by the Board of any written law.
For the purpose of awarding contracts, the Board shall set up a Tenders Board which shall be responsible for awarding contracts in accordance with such tender’s procedures, rules and regulations as are in force (set up by administrative action) in the State.
Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) of section 5 of this Law, paragraphs (g) and (i) of that subsection shall be read and construed subject to section 6 of this Law.
Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of section 5 of this Law, the Board shall have and may exercise the following special powers—
(a) to provide, sell, let or hire, connect, maintain, repair or remove any electric lines, fittings, apparatus or appliances for lighting or power or any other purpose for which electricity can or may be used outside the area of authority of the National Electric Power Authority;
(b) to maintain shops and showrooms for display, sale or hire of electrical equipment of any kind whatsoever;
(c) to advertise such electrical equipment by way of demonstration, exhibition or otherwise;
(d) to purchase electric power from the National Electric Power Authority or other suppliers of electric power; and
(e) to undertake the transmission, distribution and sale of such power to areas within the authority of the Board where the Board considers it economical so to do.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Board may appoint one or more committees to advise or take any other action as to the initiation, administration or progress of any project which the Board may undertake or in which it may participate, or for any other purpose, whether general or special, relating to the functions of the Board, which in the opinion of the Board would be better regulated or managed by means of a committee, and may delegate to a committee so appointed, with or without restrictions or conditions, any function performable by the Board under this Law:
Provided that the power to make rules or regulations or to borrow money shall not be delegated by the Board to any committee.
(2) The number of members of any committee appointed under this section, the Chairman of the committee, the term of office and remuneration of the members shall be such as the Board may, with the approval of the Commissioner, specify.
(3) Any committee appointed under this section may include, with the approval of the Commissioner, persons who are not members of the Board but who possess such special qualification or experience as in the opinion of the Board would prove beneficial to the work or purpose of the committee:
Provided that the majority at least of the members of every committee shall be members or officers of the Board.
(1) The Commissioner may, after consultation with the Board, give to the Board such general direction as to the performance by the Board of its functions under this Law as appear to the Commissioner to be necessary to ensure conformity by the Board with the policy of the Government for the time being in respect of the supply and distribution of electricity in its area of authority and the Board shall give effect to any such directions.
(2) The Commissioner may, after consultation the with Board, give to the Board specific directions for the purpose of remedying any defect which may be disclosed in the arrangements of the Board for the performance of its functions under this Law, and the Board shall give effect to any such directions.
(3) The power conferred by subsection (2) of this section on the Commissioner shall include power to give directions prohibiting or limiting any expenditure proposed to be incurred by the Board which appear to the Commissioner to be excessive or unnecessary.
(4) The Board shall afford to the Commissioner facilities for obtaining information relating to the assets and liabilities and functions of the Board, and shall furnish him with returns, accounts, minutes or meetings, and other information relating thereto, and shall afford to him facilities for the verification of information furnished, in such manner and at such times as he may require.
Financial provisions and assets of the Board
(1) The funds and resources of the Board shall consist of—
(a) such sums or other property whatsoever as may from time to time be advanced by way of loan or granted to the Board by the Government;
(b) such sums or other property whatsoever as may from time to time be advanced by way of loan or granted to the Board by the local authority or statutory corporation in the State, any other Government in Nigeria or any agency or institution of any such Government, any international organisation, and private foundation or any person whatsoever;
(c) any investment or other property whatsoever acquired by or vested in the Board;
(d) money earned or arising from any investments or other property whatsoever acquired by or vested in the Board;
(e) all other sums (whether as electric charges or otherwise) or other property whatsoever which may in any manner become payable to or vested in the Board in respect of its powers and duties or of any matter incidental thereto under this Law or by virtue of the provisions of any other written Law.
(2) The following charges shall be defrayed out of the revenue of the Board for any financial year—
(a) the salaries, fees and allowances of the members;
(b) the salaries, remuneration, fees, allowances, pensions, gratuities and other retirement benefits of the officers, servants, other employees and agents, technical or other advisers of or consultants to the Board;
(c) all expenses of working and management of the Board and electrical works and other properties including proper provision for depreciation or renewal of assets;
(d) the cost of such minor works of a capital nature as the Board may deem necessary from time to time;
(e) such sums including compensation which may be payable by the Board to any person or authority under the provisions of this Law or any other written Law;
(f) taxes, rates and other levies payable by the Board under any written law;
(g) interest in any loan raised by the Board;
(h) sums required to be transferred to any sinking fund or otherwise set aside for the purpose of making provision for the redemption of debentures, stocks or other securities or the repayment of other loans;
(i) such other sums as the Commissioner may approve for payment out of the revenue account of the Board in respect of any financial year.
(3) The balance of the revenue of the Board for any financial year shall be applied—
(a) to the creation of a general reserve or such other reserve as the Governor may from time to time approve both in regard to their maximum amounts and in other respects;
(b) to the repayment of such interest or part thereof on the advance account referred to in section 12 as the state of the Board’s affairs appears, in the opinion of the Board and with the approval of the Governor, to warrant.
(1) It shall be lawful for the Government to make to the Board—
(a) grants of any sums or property as the Government shall deem fit;
(b) loans upon such terms as to repayment, payment of interest or otherwise as the Government may determine.
(2) So soon as may be after the commencement of this Law, the Board shall in respect of any moneys (other than grants) advanced by the Government to provide working capital for the Board, create an advance account in favour of the Government of an amount equal to the total sum of moneys so advanced.
(3) The advance account referred to in subsection (2) of this section shall be subject to such conditions as to interest and repayment as the Governor may from time to time determine.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Board may, by issuing debentures, stocks or other securities, or in any other manner, borrow sums required by it for meeting any of its obligation or discharging any of its functions under this Law.
(2) The power of the Board to borrow shall be exercisable only with the approval of the Governor as to the amount of the loan, the sources of the borrowing and the terms on which the borrowing may be effected; and the approval given for the purposes of this subsection may be either general or limited to a particular borrowing.
(3) Approval of the Governor for the purposes of subsection (2) and this subsection may be subject to such conditions, other than conditions that may be imposed under subsection (2), as he may specify.
(4) A person lending money to the Board shall not be bound to enquire whether borrowing of the money is within the power of the Board.
(1) If the Government makes any loan to the Board at any time in accordance with the provisions of this Law, the Board shall, if so required by the Commissioner for Finance, issue to the Government a debenture or debentures of a nominal value equivalent to the sum loaned.
(2) Debentures issued in accordance with the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall bear interest at such rate, if any, and from such date as the Commissioner for Finance may specify.
Administrative organisation of the Board
(1) The chief executive officer of the Board shall be its General Manager, who shall be a professional qualified engineer with sound experience of electricity supply engineering and management, and shall be the accounting officer and have responsibility for the carrying out of the policies and decisions of the Board in accordance with the provisions of the Law.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) the General Manager shall be responsible for—
(a) the execution of policies laid down in respect of all the projects of the Board;
(b) the general supervision and organisation of various divisions of the Board;
(c) the co-ordination of projects and accounts of the various divisions of the Board;
(d) the performance of any other functions which the Board may from time to time determine;
(e) carrying out any of the Board’s functions specifically assigned to him by the Board or by the Chairman.
(1) There shall be a Secretary to the Board who shall, subject to the provisions of this Law, have such functions of an administrative nature as the Board may from time to time assign to him.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, the Secretary shall assist the General Manager in the performance of his duties, and in addition, shall be responsible for—
(a) making arrangements for the meetings of the Board;
(b) preparing the agenda and recording the minutes of the meetings of the Board;
(c) conveying decisions of the Board to the members and other interested or affected parties;
(d) arranging for payment of fees and allowances of members and all other matters affecting the members of the Board.
The financial affairs of the Board shall be under the management of the Chief Accountant who shall be responsible to the General Manager and shall advise the General Manager on the revenue and the control of expenditure of the Board.
(1) The General Manager shall, on the recommendation of the Board, be appointed by the Governor in Council.
(2) The Secretary, Chief Accountant and any other principal officer of the Board on a salary above level 10 shall be appointed by the Board on such conditions as may be laid down under the provisions of sections 20 and 21 of this Law.
(1) The Board shall have power to appoint and exercise disciplinary control over its staff, other than those dealt with by section 18, and agents as it may think necessary for the discharge of its functions under this Law and shall determine their terms and conditions of service as to remuneration or otherwise.
(2) Appointments made by the Board by virtue of subsection (1) of this section shall include such conditions as may be laid down by the Board under regulations and rules made under sections 20 and 21 of this Law.
(3) There shall be an Establishment Committee, to be presided over by the General Manager, which shall comprise all departmental heads and shall be charged with the responsibility of making recommendations to the Board in respect of the appointments, promotions and disciplinary control of all staff on salary above level 10.
(4) The General Manager shall have power to appoint, promote, and exercise disciplinary control in respect of established and unestablished employees of the Board up to and including employees on salary level 10.
(1) The Board may, with the approval of the Governor, and subject to the provisions of this Law, make regulations with respect to the appointment, promotion, transfer and dismissal of, and exercise of disciplinary control over, its employees.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, the Board may, with the like approval, make regulations for any of the following matters—
(a) the qualifications to be required for appointments;
(b) the period of probation;
(c) the form of any agreement to be entered into between the Board and its employees;
(d) the terms and conditions of service (including, without prejudice to the generality of that expression, the salaries and allowances, the grant of leave and advances, the provision of quarters, and medical and dental treatment);
(e) the procedure and requirements for promotions;
(f) the maintenance of discipline (including dismissal and termination of appointments);
(g) the transfer of employees between the Board and the Government of the State, any other State, a local authority, or any statutory corporation;
(h) such other matters relating to departmental procedure and duties and responsibilities of employees as the Board considers can be best provided for by regulations.
The Board may make rules, with respect to its employees for—
(a) the pensions, gratuities and retirement benefits to be granted to pensionable employees of the Board and their dependants;
(b) the gratuities and retirement allowances to be granted to non-pensionable employees of the Board and their dependants;
(c) all matters ancillary to the matters mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.
Powers and procedure in respect of electricity supply and its charges
(1) The scales and charges for electricity shall be such as the Board may, from time to time, with the approval of the Commissioner, determine.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, all charges for electricity sold to consumers and for services rendered by the Board shall be fixed at such rates and on such scales that the revenue for any particular year from every source will be sufficient, as nearly as may be, to pay—
(a) the working expenses and other outgoings of the Board properly chargeable to income in that year;
(b) the payments failing to be made in that year by the Board in respect of the interest on or repayment of the principal of any money borrowed by the Board;
(c) such sums as the Board may think proper to set aside in that year for a general reserve, extensions, renewals, depreciation, loans and other like purpose.
(3) Charges for electricity or services may, it the Board thinks it fit, be fixed at different rates and on different scales for different localities.
(1) The Board may, with the approval of the Commissioner, make regulations with respect to all or any of the following matters—
(a) the price of, or charges for, electricity supplied by meter to a residence, building or to a site or any building under construction;
(b) the officer to whom or the office at which the rate, charge or fee shall be paid and whether such rate, charge or fee shall be payable monthly or quarterly in arrears or in advance and the date on which the first payment of such rate, charge or fee shall become due, or in the case of electricity supplied to a site of a building under construction the manner in which the charge for such electricity shall be payable;
(c) the price to be paid for all services constructed or laid by the Board, and the time and place for the payment of the same;
(d) the construction, laying, fitting, alteration or readjustment of services, and the nature, quality, size and pattern thereof, and of meters used therewith;
(e) the forms of all notices required to be given or sent under this Law and the issuing and service thereof;
(f) the prevention of the wrongful opening or closing of any meter of the Board;
(g) the prevention of the commission of any offence or nuisance in or about any of the stations, works, plants, buildings or premises of the Board;
(h) the prevention of trespass upon or injury to stations, works, plants, buildings or premises appertaining to any electricity scheme or otherwise belonging thereto;
(i) the general control of the operation of the electricity works and the governance thereof and maintenance of good order thereon;
(j) generally providing for the preservation and the conservation of the sources of electricity;
(k) the prescription of penalties for offences against any regulations made under this section.
(2) If any person contravenes or fails to comply with the provisions of any regulations made under the provisions of this section the Board may, without prejudice to its right to take proceedings for a fine or other penalty in respect of such contravention or non-compliance, cut off the supply and in addition or in the alternative may, after such notice in writing as it may think fit, enter and cause any electric fittings belonging to or used by the regulations to be altered, repaired, replaced or removed, and may recover the expenses reasonably incurred by it in so doing from the person in default in the manner provided for the recovery of electricity charges on consumption.
(3) The application of any regulation made under this section may be general or may be limited as to area or time.
If any person fails to pay any charge or fee for which he is liable within one month after the same became payable, the Board may recover the same with costs in any court of competent jurisdiction.
(1) The Board shall as far as possible maintain a continuity of supply of electricity power: Provided that—
(a) the Board shall have the right to suspend the supply of electricity for such period as may be necessary for carrying out inspection, tests, or repairs and for the making of new connections;
(b) the Board shall have the right to suspend or discontinue any supply where the payment of any charges or fees are in arrears.
(2) The Board shall in no case be under any obligation to pay damages or compensation for loss, damage or inconvenience caused to any consumer through any suspension, failure, discontinuance or a whole or partial interruption of the supply of electricity howsoever caused.
(1) The Board may purchase electric power in bulk and may resell such power granted by the Board upon such terms and conditions as the Board may prescribe.
(2) No person shall resell electric power supplied by the Board save under licence granted by the Board upon such terms and conditions as the Board may prescribe.
The Board shall not, by virtue of making any inspection or test of a consumer’s fittings, appliances or apparatus in accordance with the Law or any regulations made thereunder whether during the progress of the work of installation at the consumer’s premises or after its completion, be deemed to be responsible for the efficiency or safety of the consumer’s fittings, appliances or apparatus so inspected or tested, or for the proper execution of the work of installation or for any damage or loss arising out of the use or misuse of apparatus by the consumer or any other person not being an employee of the Board.
Except in so far as is otherwise provided by this Law, where a supply of electric power is provided by the Board in any part of an area for private purpose, every person within that part of the area shall, upon application to the Board, be entitled to a supply on the same terms on which other persons in such part of the area are entitled under similar circumstances to a corresponding supply, so however that in the case of a fresh connection adequate power can be made available without detriment to existing supplies to persons or institutions in the area.
(1) If any person or any department of the Government or any other authority does any matter or thing which such person, department or authority is by or under any law authorised to do and which necessitates an alteration in any part of any electricity scheme or of any distribution system vested in or belonging to the Board, the Board shall on reasonable notice being given to it by such person, department or authority make such alteration, and the expenses incurred thereby shall be borne by such person, department or authority.
(2) In the event of any dispute arising as to the amount of such expenses the same may be referred by either the person, department or authority as aforesaid or the Board to an arbitrator to be appointed by the Commissioner.
Account and reports of the Board
(1) The Board shall—
(a) cause to be kept proper accounts in respect of its functions under this Law and other records in relation thereto; and
(b) prepare, in respect of each financial year, a statement of accounts in such form as may be approved by the Commissioner.
(2) The said annual statement of accounts shall be a fair and accurate statement of the financial position, and of the results of the operations of the Board for the financial year to which it relates.
(3) The said annual statement of accounts shall be audited by the Auditor-General of the State or where the Auditor-General of the State is unable to do so, by an auditor or auditors appointed annually by the Commissioner after consultation with the Auditor-General of the State, and the remuneration to be paid by the Board to such auditor or auditors shall be approved by the Commissioner.
(4) As soon as the said annual statement of account has been audited as aforesaid the Board shall forward to the Commissioner a copy of the said statement of accounts together with a copy of the report made by the Auditor-General or the auditor or auditors aforesaid.
(5) Before the commencement of each financial year the Board shall prepare an estimate of its revenue and authorised expenditure for that financial year and submit the same to the Commissioner for his approval, and the Commissioner shall have power to disallow or reduce the provision under any item in the estimate as he may consider necessary.
(1) The Board shall within six months after the end of each financial year, make to the Commissioner a report, in such form and containing such particulars as the Commissioner may from time to time direct, dealing with the activities of the Board during that financial year.
(2) Every annual report made by the Board under subsection (1) shall contain particulars of all directives given under this Law by the Governor to the Board during each financial year.
(1) Subject to section 54 (3) of this Law, no person shall, within the area of authority of the Board, construct any electricity works without the approval of the Commissioner.
(2) Nothing in this section shall affect the rights of any person under any other written law.
(3) Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this section is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred naira or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.
Any person who—
(a) wilfully or negligently damages any electricity works, service or meter;
(b) unlawfully draws off, diverts or takes electricity from the same, or from any source or power by which any electricity scheme is supplied; or
(c) pollutes any such source, or allows any foul liquid, gas or other noxious or injurious matter to enter into any such works or any service connected therewith, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred naira or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both and, for every day during which the offence continues after notice in writing requiring the same to be stopped, to a further penalty of ten naira.
Any person who alters, or causes or permits to be altered any service without the consent of the Board or contrary to any regulations made under this Law is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty naira or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or both.
Any person who alters, or causes or permits to be altered, any service with intent to avoid the accurate measurement or register of power by means of any meter, or to obtain a greater supply of power than he is entitled to, or to avoid payment therefor, or who wilfully or negligently damages, alters or causes or permits to be damaged or altered any meter, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred naira or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding four months or both, and any service so altered or any meter so damaged or altered shall be replaced or repaired by the Board at the expenses of the person convicted, and the cost of replacing or repairing any such service or meter may be recovered upon the order of a court in the same manner as any penalty may be recovered upon conviction.
Any person who, without justification or excuse, the proof of which shall lie on the person charged—
(a) refuses or incites any person to refuse to pay any charge or fee payable by him by virtue of this Law; or
(b) incites or assists any person to misrepresent in any way any information material to the assessment of any charge or fee payable under this Law, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two hundred naira or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.
Miscellaneous and General
(1) In any action for the recovery of any charge or other moneys, other than fines and penalties, due, payable or recoverable under this Law, a certificate from the Board, or of any person appointed by the Board in that behalf, that any sum of money is due and that the defendant is the person liable to pay the same, shall be prima facie evidence of such debt and of the non-payment thereof, and that the defendant is the person liable to pay the same.
(2) Every such action may be instituted by the Board or by any person authorised by the Board to institute such action on its behalf.
The Head of the electrical section of the State Ministry of Works or any person authorised in writing by him may at any time enter any electricity works for the purpose of inspecting such electricity works or any part thereof.
(1) Where, upon considering any audit report on accounts or in any other case, the Commissioner is satisfied that in respect of the functions of the Board under this Law—
(a) any sum to the Board has not been duly brought to account by any person by whom such sum ought to have been brought to account; or
(b) any loss of or deficiency in the moneys, or loss or destruction of any other property of the Board has occurred by reason of the negligence, breach of official duty of other misconduct of any person, the Commissioner may surcharge the amount of such sum, loss or deficiency, or of the value of the property lost of destroyed upon the person aforesaid whether he is or not a member of the Board or an officer or other employee or agent of the Board.
(2) Before exercising any of his power under subsection (1) of this section the Commissioner may by writing under his hand authorise any person to conduct any inquiry for the purpose of this section and to take evidence and examine witness upon oath or affirmation (which oath or affirmation that person is hereby empowered to administer) and that person may, by summons under his hand, require all such persons as he may deem fit to appear before him at a time and place to be stated in such summons and to produce all such books, records, accounts and other documents and material stated in such other documents and materials as he may consider necessary for the purpose of the inquiry.
(3) If the Commissioner decides to surcharge any amount upon any person under subsection (1) of this section he shall cause a notice to be served upon him, or on legal personal representatives in the event of his death, requiring him or such representatives to pay the amount surcharged within such period from the date of the service of the notice as may be specified therein.
(4) Notwithstanding any of the provisions of subsection (3) of this section no liability to surcharge shall be incurred by any officer, other employee or agent of the Board who can prove to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that he acted in pursuance of and in accordance with the terms of a resolution of the Board or of any committee duly appointed under this Law, or on the written instructions of any officer, other employee or agent of the Board to whose orders, in relation to the matter in question, he was subject:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall exempt any person from liability to surcharge in accordance with the provisions of this section where that person knew or ought reasonably to have known that the terms of any resolution or any written instruction as aforesaid were not in accordance with the provisions of this Law or any regulations or rules made or directions given thereunder.
Any amount notified as a surcharge in accordance with the provisions of subsection (3) of section 34 of this Law shall be a debt due to the Board, and may be sued for and recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction at the suit of the Board.
(1) Any person who is aggrieved by the decision of the Commissioner to surcharge any amount upon him may, within thirty days of such decision appeal to the High Court.
(2) The High Court on such appeal shall have power to confirm, vary or quash the decision of the Commissioner and to give such directions as the Court may deem fit in the matter.
(1) Whenever it appears to the Board that any land in the State is likely to be needed for the purpose of the Board, the Board may, by it servants and agents, together with all necessary workmen, enter upon any such land and—
(a) survey and take levels of the land;
(b) dig or bore under the subsoil; and
(c) do all other acts necessary to ascertain whether the land is suitable for such purpose:
Provided that no such agent, servant or workman shall enter any building or upon any enclosed court or garden attached to a dwelling-house (except with the consent of the occupier thereof) unless at least seven days’ notice of the intended entry has been given to such occupier.
(2) As soon as conveniently may be after any entry made under subsection (1) of this section the Board shall pay compensation for any damage arising out of the exercise of any power conferred by that subsection.
(3) In the case of dispute as to the amount of any compensation payable under this section the amount may be determined by the High Court or a Magistrate’s Court having jurisdiction in respect of the place where the land is situated.
(4) The Board shall not, by its operation, interfere with the passage along any road affected of ordinary or extraordinary traffic as defined by any law in force in the State which deals with road traffic; and the Board shall make good any damage caused in the execution of its works.
(5) Whenever it is necessary to construct a new electric on main transmission line across any land or to attach fixture to any building, the Board shall, when practicable, serve on the occupier of such land or building, such notice as is reasonable in writing giving the description of the works proposed to be carried out; and if after twenty-one days of service of such notice the occupier fails to lodge an objection in writing with the Board, the Board may proceed with such works.
(1) Where acquisition by private agreement of land by the Board fails, the Board may apply to the Government to acquire such land under the Public Lands Acquisition Law and land so acquired shall vest in the Board, but the Board shall not have power, without the consent of the Governor in writing, to dispose of land so acquired.
(2) Where land is acquired under subsection (1) of this section, compensation therefor shall be paid in the first instance by the Government, and the Board shall refund the same to the Government together with acquisition expenses.
(1) Any contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by a person not being a body corporate, would not require to be under seal, may be entered into or executed on behalf of the Board by any person generally or specially authorised by the Board for that purpose.
(2) Any document purporting to be a document duly executed or issued under the seal of the Board or on behalf of the Board shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to be a document so executed or issued as the case may be.
A member shall not be personally liable for any act or any omission to do any act or for any default of the Board so long as such act, omission or default is in good faith in the course of the operations of the Board.
Service upon the Board of any notice, order or other document, may be effected by delivering the same or by sending it by registered post addressed to the Secretary of the Board.
No execution or attachment or process in the nature thereof shall be issued against any electrical works vested in or being the property of the Board, but any sums of money which may by the judgment of any court be awarded against the Board shall, subject to any direction given by the court where notice of appeal has been given by the Board in respect of the said judgment, be paid by the Board from its funds.
Electricity works vested in or being property of the Board shall not be regarded as hereditaments or tenements to be valued for rating purposes under any written law.
(1) Subject to the provision of this Law the quorum and procedure of any body of persons established by or under this Law shall be such as it may be determined by that body.
(2) Any body of persons established by or under this Law may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its members, any defect in the appointment of a member or the absence of any member.
Nothing in this Law shall be construed as conferring power on the General Manager as the chief executive to disburse the funds of the Board without the prior consent in writing of the Chief Accountant and the Secretary to the Board.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other written law, all agreements by the Board for the supply of electricity within the Board’s area of authority shall beexempt from stamp duty.
Where a person convicted on an offence under this Law, or under any regulations made thereunder is a body corporate, it shall be liable to the penalties prescribed therefor and in addition every person who at the time of the commission of the offence being a Director, Chief Executive Secretary or other chief officer of the body corporate consented to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires—
“area of authority” means any part of the State where rural electrification schemes may be operated under and by virtue of any or all of the provisions of this Law;
“the Board” means the Rural Electrification Board;
“the Chairman” means the Chairman of the Board;
“the Commissioner” means the Commissioner charged with responsibility for rural electrification;
“member” means a member of the Board and includes the Chairman;
“meter” means any appliance used for measuring, ascertaining or regulating the amount of electricity taken or used from any electricity scheme by means of any service;
“the Governor” means the Governor of the State;
“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations;
“private supply” means a supply by means of a connection to any building for the purpose of supplying electricity (within the Board’s area of authority) to be used solely within the area of such building;
“the State” means the Cross River State;
“street” includes any square, court, highways, road, thoroughfare or public passage or place over which the public have a right of way.
(1) This Law may be cited as Rural Electrification Board Law.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) below, this Law shall apply to such area as the Commissioner may, from time to time, by order designate, and in any order the Commissioner may exempt (within the Board’s area of authority) any electricity works or any type of such works from the provisions of such order.
(3) This Law shall not apply to electric installations belonging to the National Electric Power Authority or other such body established by the Government of the Federation.
(4) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Law the penal provisions of this Law shall come into force until an electricity scheme is operational within any part of the Board’s area of authority.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD
Tenure of Office of Members
(2) The Chairman shall be a part-time Chairman.
Eligibility for Reappointment
Vacation of Office
(a) has been absent from three consecutive meetings of the Board without the permission of the Commissioner, in the case of the Chairman, or of the Chairman, or in the case of any other member;
(b) has become bankrupt or has made an arrangement or composition with his creditors generally;
(c) has been convicted of an offence involving or necessarily implying fraud, dishonestyor other moral turpitude;
(d) is incapacitated by physical or mental illness from performing his functions as a member;
(e) has such financial or other interest in the operations of the Board or otherwise as in the opinion of the Governor is likely to affect prejudicially the performance by him of his functions as a member; or
(f) is otherwise unable or unfit to perform the functions of member, the Governor may revoke the appointment of such member.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the instrument by which a member is appointed, a member (not being a member by virtue of an office held by him) may resign his office as a member by notice in writing to the Governor, and upon receipt of such member shall be terminated.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-paragraph (1) of this paragraph the Governor may at any time remove any member from office.
Co-opting of Persons
(2) At a meeting of the Board—
(a) the Chairman of the Board shall, if present, be chairman of the meeting;
(b) if and so long as the Chairman of the Board is not present or if the office of chairman is vacant the members of the Board who are present shall choose one of their member to be chairman of the meeting.
(3) Every question at the meeting of the Board shall be determined by a majority of the votes of the members present and the voting on the question, and in case of equal division of votes the chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
(4) Any four members of the Board may by notice in writing signed by them request the Chairman to call a meeting of the Board for the purpose set out in such notice and the chairman shall within twenty-one days of such notice call a meeting for the purpose stated in the notice.
(2) The common seal of the Board shall be authenticated by the signature of the Chairman of the Board or some other members thereof authorised by the Board to act in that behalf and the signature of the secretary of the Board.
(3) Judicial notice shall be taken of the common seal of the Board and every document purporting to be an instrument made by the Board and to be sealed with the common seal (purporting to be authenticated in accordance with this paragraph) of the Board shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such instrument without further proof, unless the contrary is shown.
RURAL ELECTRIFICATION BOARD LAW
No Subsidiary Legislation