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Reps probe power sector reform expenditure

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………$2b contracts awarded without due process

THE House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to set up an Ad-hoc Committee to underatake a comprehensive probe of the expenditure in the power sector reform programme of the Federal Government.

This was sequel to  the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Sada Soli on ” the need to review government expenditure on the power sector to ensure the sustenance of the power sector reform programme in Nigeria”.

The Committee is expected to report back to the House within six weeks for further legislative action.

While moving the motion, the lawmaker said the so much cash has been sunk on the reform with no commensurate result.

He said: “Aware that the power sector reform was expected to open opportunities for the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), increase access to electricity in processing farm produce; create job opportunities for Nigerian teeming graduates and enhance  socio-economic development of the country.

“Recall that an Investigative Hearing was conducted by the House of Representatives in 2008 over the alleged spending of about $16 billion on the power sector

“Also aware that the set power generation target was that by year 2020, the nation would have achieved 40,000 Mw based on the alleged investments in the proposed power plants, but till date, such generation target has eluded nation.

“Alarmed that the Investigative Hearing further revealed that contracts awarded for the Kainji, Egbin, Afam and Ugheli power stations as well as nine other such contracts totaling up to  $142 million were never executed.

“Also alarmed that contracts awarded of over $50 million to companies that did not exist and that $2billion worth of energy contracts were also awarded without bidding and due process.

“Acknowledge the lamentation of the President to the effect that such huge sums of billions of dollars could be spent without commensurate results in the generation, transmission and distribution of power supply in the country.”

He said cognizance of the provisions of  Section 88 (2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which empowers the House of Representatives to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.

He added that it is worrisome that up to date, no person, company or agency of government involved in the alleged misappropriation of such huge sums of billions of dollars has been prosecuted despite the perennial epileptic power supply and its associated socio-economic consequences for the nation.

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