THE Senate is set to commence an investigation into an alleged $1.35 billion fraud in the power sector.
The Senate on Thursday, November 2, asked Dino Melaye, a senator representing Kogi West, to present a substantive motion on what it called a series of financial abuses in the sector, particularly since 2015.
Citing Order 42 of the Senate Standing Rule, Melaye had requested that he be allowed by the Senate to present a motion containing the details of how $1billion Eurobond raised in 2013 to fund key power projects was allegedly stolen.
He also asked that he be permitted to brief the Senate in detail how another $35 million set aside for Afam Fast Power Project was allegedly spent by officials of the Ministry of Power without appropriation and feasibility study.
The development portends two things: It is either the cold war between the Executive and Legislature is still lingering or the National Assembly has now fully come alive to its responsibilities of over-sighting the activities of the Executive arm of government.
Melaye said: “In July 2013, the Federal Government raised $1billion from Eurobond issue from which $350 million was given to NBET (Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc) in 2014. This money was stolen in instalments.”
The lawmaker further stated: “Sometime last year, again, the Ministry of Power came up with an idea of a project they called Afam Fast Power. This project is supposed to build new generating plants to add power to our grid.
“There are a few questions we need to ask and that is why I need the nod of the Senate to bring a substantive motion on the next legislative day.”
Melaye told the Senate that “up till date, there is no detail on building new generating plants or a feasibility study. There is no appropriation by the National Assembly for these projects.
“The ministry has spent so far $35 million on the Afam Fast Power Project which has no appropriation or detailed feasibility study. How and when was this money appropriated? We need to find out. How was $29million purportedly paid to General Electric for turbines when $6 million was paid to others?”
He said further: “We need the Senate to investigate this after moving a substantive motion. I ask this house to give us the opportunity to continue with the true anti-corruption fight of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
When Bukola Saraki, the Senate president, put the question to vote, it was carried unanimously that the matter be investigated.
– Nov 3, 2017 @ 12:27 GMT |