Senate summons Fashola over alleged monumental fraud in power sector

Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 9 November 2017 | 1,024 times

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•Power, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola

The Senate has assigned its committees on Power; and Public Accounts to invite the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to provide a comprehensive account of public funds spent on Fast Power Projects, especially the Afam Fast Power Project.

Fashola is also expected to provide evidence of a feasibility study indicating the viability of the project, requisite appropriation by the National Assembly, and also shed light on the “controversial presidential approval” for the said projects.

This summons followed a motion by Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi West, last week, alleging monumental fraud in the power sector.

Senator Melaye previously alerted the red chamber to the fraud in the power sector, explaining that the sum of $350 million was taken by the Federal Government out of the proceeds of a $1 billion in July 2013 Eurobond issue and released to the Nigeria Electricity Bulk Trading Company( NBET) Plc.

According to him, the Federal Government deposited the sum as shareholder contribution to shore up its capitalisation and demonstrate NBET’s preparedness to assume its role as a government backed electricity bulk trader to provide market confidence in the privatised electricity market.

He disclosed that this fund has been domiciled with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) since 2014 and has helped build market confidence especially among new investors in the electricity market who see NBET’s positive balance sheet as a form of security that their investments are safe.

Melaye however accused the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing of trying to retrieve the $350 million fund and divert same to fund a scheme known as Fast Power “on the pretext of acting under a purported presidential approval.”

He said: “since the introduction of the Fast Power Project by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, a total sum of $35 million has been spent by the Ministry on Afam Power Project alone to pay $29 million to General Electric (GE) as cost for turbines and $6million in consultancy fees to other entities respectively, all without requisite feasibility study of the projects and appropriation by the National Assembly as required by the Constitution.”

Source: News Express

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