By Ike A. Offor
The upper chamber of the national assembly, the Senate summons the minister for Power, Works and Housing to answer for what the senate called ‘monumental fraud’ in the power sector of his ministry.
This was contained in the second motion of the day in the senate, which was put forward by Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West senatorial zone.
In replying to the senate, Senator Gbenga Ashafa speaks on the alleged pretext of the ministry acting under a purported presidential approval put forward by Dino Melaye, saying that the Babatunde Fashola and his ministry should be allowed to further clarify on the issue before establishing such allegation.
The senate at the plenary resolved to do the following: It is noted that both resolution were merged into one
- Mandate the Senate Committee on Power; Public Accounts; to invite the minister of Power, Works and Housing to render a detailed account in terms of public funds spent on the Fast Power Projects (Afam Fast Power Project in particular); evidence of feasibility study indicating the viability of the projects, and requisite appropriation by the Nationals Assembly as required by the Constitution; and the controversial presidential approval for the project;
- Mandate the Senate Committee on Power; Public Accounts; to investigate and consider summoning the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA); Nigerian Electricity Bulk Trading Company (NBET) etc, to generally establish the status of the funds ($350million) and report back to senate within two weeks time frame.
Additional prayers by Sen. Mohammad Hassan is the Senate mandates the Committee on Finance to investigate the actions of Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) inclusive of the issue raised in this motion. He further prayed the Senate to look into how decisions are made on policy making and the reports is to be submitted in two weeks.
Sen. Ogola said that Senate Committee on Public Accounts should be mandated to ascertain and investigate balance of $650million from the Eurobond transaction in the TSA.
Sen. Ohuabunwa said that the Senate Committee on Judiciary should be mandated to review the present NSIA act and this was seconded by Sen. Aliyu Sabi.
The Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki said that the prayers should be handled by Committee on Power and Public Accounts stating that this is not the first time issues on power and funding is being raised.
He said: ‘I really believe that the Committee on Public Account should lead the investigation to get really down to the bottom of the matter’.