17. Principles of financial operations
(1) It shall be the duty of the Corporation to conduct its affairs on sound commercial lines and, in particular, so to carry out its functions under this Act and so prescribe the charges payable in respect of the supply by the Corporation of electricity as to ensure that its revenues are sufficient to produce on the fair value of its assets a reasonable return measured by taking its net operating income as a percentage of the fair value of its fixed assets in operation plus an appropriate allowance for its working capital.
(2) For the purposes of this section, "net operating income" means the amount of income remaining after subtracting from total operating revenues all charges which in accordance with generally acceptable accounting principles are chargeable to revenue account, including appropriate provisions for depreciation of assets, adequate maintenance and taxes, but before deducting interest and other charges on borrowing or taking into account non-operating income and expenditure.
(3) In determining what constitutes a reasonable return, all pertinent economic and financial considerations shall be taken into account, which shall include but not be limited to the need for net operating income in an amount sufficient-
(a) to meet interest payments on borrowings;
(b) to provide for repayments to be made each year in respect of loans incurred by the Corporation to the extent to which such repayments exceed the year's provision for depreciation charged to revenue account;
(c) to provide a reasonable proportion of the funds needed for expanding the Corporation's activities and improving its services;
(d) to provide reserves for replacement, expansion or other purposes if and to the extent to which the Corporation deems it necessary to establish such reserves; and
(e) to make dividend payments to the Government in respect of its equity interest in the Corporation if and to the extent deemed appropriate by the Corporation, after consultation with the Minister and the Minister responsible for finance and having regard to the future financial requirements of the Corporation.
18. Fixing of tariffs
(1) The Corporation shall, with the approval of the Minister, which shall not be unreasonably withheld, prescribe the tariffs at which it supplies electricity so as to ensure that it is able to comply with the provisions of section 17.
(2) The Corporation may prescribe different tariffs or methods of charge for different persons or classes of persons and for different areas:
Provided that there shall be no unreasonable discrimination or preference in the prescribing of such tariffs or methods of charge.
19. Borrowing powers
(1) In order to enable the Corporation to discharge its functions under this Act and to meet its obligations, it may borrow on such terms and in such currencies as may be agreed between it and any lender, such sums as it may require, subject to the approval of the Minister responsible for finance.
(2) The Corporation may charge its assets, undertakings and revenues with the repayment of any money borrowed together with interest thereon and may issue debentures, bonds or other securities in order to secure the repayment of any money borrowed together with interest thereon and may do all other things necessary in connection with or incidental to such borrowings as are authorized by this section, subject to the approval of the Minister responsible for finance.
20. Vesting of property in the Corporation
(1) Any properties, assets, rights, debts, liabilities and obligations of the Government, and the benefit and burden of all contracts made by or on behalf of the Government, which are part of or concern or relate to the Government electricity undertakings may, with the consent of the Corporation, be transferred to and vest in the Corporation as hereinafter provided on terms and conditions agreed to by the Corporation.
(2) The Minister may from time to time by order published in the Gazette designate for the purposes of this section properties, assets, rights, debts, liabilities and obligations of the Government, and contracts made by or on behalf of the Government which are part of, concern or relate to the Government electricity undertakings, and as from the date specified in any such designation the properties, assets, rights, debts, liabilities and obligations so designated and the benefit and burden of the contracts so designated shall vest in the Corporation.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (4), "the appropriate date" means, in respect of any loan agreement made between the Government and any person whereby money was, or is to be, borrowed by the Government and used for or in connection with the Government electricity undertakings, the date of the vesting of such loan agreement in the Corporation by virtue of the foregoing provisions of this section.
(4) The Corporation shall pay to the Government in such manner and on such date, or dates, as the Minister, with the concurrence of the Corporation and the Minister for the time being responsible for finance, may from time to time specify, any amount expended, or advanced, by the Government on or in connection with the Government electricity undertakings, comprising-
(a) all amounts repaid, in respect of capital or interest, by the Government to any person before the appropriate date under any loan agreement to which subsection (3) applies;
(b) all amounts disbursed, or to be disbursed, by the Government in repayment of any other loan raised, or to be raised, by the Government, and interest thereon, to the extent to which such loan has been or will be applied to the Government electricity undertakings, which before the date specified in a designation pursuant to subsection (2) had not been off-set by an amount, or amounts, credited to the Consolidated Fund for that purpose;
(c) amounts equal to the outstanding debit balance of any advances made by the Government and all costs incurred by the Government as a result of making such advances; and
(d) any other amounts paid, or to be paid, by the Government, which before the date specified in a designation pursuant to subsection (2) had not been off-set by an amount, or amounts, credited to the Consolidated Fund for that purpose.
(5) If, within one month from the date specified by the Minister under subsection (4) for the payment of any amount payable by the Corporation to the Government under that subsection, the Corporation fails to pay such amount, it shall pay interest thereon as from the date specified as aforesaid at such rate or rates as the Minister with the concurrence of the Minister responsible for finance may from time to time determine.
21. Liability to pay tax, etc.
Nothing in this Act shall exempt the Corporation from any tax, duty, rate, levy or other charge whatsoever, whether general or local.
22. Accounts and audit
(1) The Corporation shall keep proper accounts and other records in relation thereto and shall prepare in respect of each financial year a statement of accounts showing in detail the assets and liabilities (real and contingent), and income and expenditure of the Corporation, in a form which shall conform with the best commercial accounting standards applicable to electricity undertakings.
(2) The accounts of the Corporation in respect of each financial year shall within four months after the end thereof be audited by auditors to be appointed by the Corporation with the approval of the Minister:
Provided that no person shall be qualified to be so appointed if he is a member, officer or servant of the Corporation or unless he holds one or more of the qualifications referred to in section 128(1) of the Companies Act.
(3) The auditors shall report in respect of the accounts for each financial year, in addition to any other matters which they deem pertinent to comment on, whether or not-
(a) they have received all the information and explanations which, to the best of their knowledge and belief, were necessary for the performance of their duties as auditors;
(b) the accounts and related records of the Corporation have been properly kept;
(c) the Corporation has complied with all the financial provisions of this Act with which it is the duty of the Corporation to comply; and
(d) the statement of accounts prepared by the Corporation was prepared on a basis consistent with that of the preceding year and represents a true and fair view of the transactions and financial affairs of the Corporation.
(4) The Corporation shall, within 30 days of receiving the report of the auditors, send such report and a copy of the audited accounts to the Minister.
(5) The Minister shall, within 30 days of receiving the report and a copy of the audited accounts, lay such report and accounts before the National Assembly.