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Power sector probe: House of Reps summons 4 govs, others

Posted by From JAMES OJO, Abuja on 2008/02/12 | Views: 350 |

Power sector probe: House of Reps summons 4 govs, others


Following fresh revelation that $16 billion was actually wasted by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration in the power, the House of Representatives Committee on Power and Steel has summoned four serving governors and past top public officials in the search for conspirators in the power sector scam.

Following fresh revelation that $16 billion was actually wasted by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration in the power, the House of Representatives Committee on Power and Steel has summoned four serving governors and past top public officials in the search for conspirators in the power sector scam.

Indeed, Speaker of the House, Dimeji Bankole on Wednesday contradicted President Umaru Yar’Adua’s earlier stunning revelation that Obasanjo wasted $10billion on power sector.
Dimeji, while welcoming a delegation of the Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, led by Osita Chidoka, said: “Latest findings have shown that $16billion was so far sunk into the power sector without much to show for it.”

He blamed the colossal waste on the poor budget planning and lack of proper oversight by the relevant bodies.
“Only if we plan and monitor output periodically, would we be able to prevent a situation where $16billion was spent on power reforms with negative results,” the Speaker lamented.

In a pre-public hearing press briefing to probe the $16billion wastage, Chairman of the House Committee on Power and Steel, Hon Ndudi Elumelu, restated his vow that any Nigerian connected with the power reform agenda from inception of democracy, in 1999, till May 29,2007 would be invited to avail the committee the roles played.

He said: “Indeed, in no other sector is the tragedy of Nigeria’s failure to manage or translate resources to human good more pronounced than in the power sector.

“It is no exaggeration to say that failure in its electricity generation, transmission and distribution capacity is one of the major reasons Nigeria today is not taking her rightful place in enjoying the benefits of human progress, which her natural and human resources entail.

“This is one of the most painful chapters of dashed hopes in the Nigerian experiment.”
To get to the bottom of the matter, Elumelu said that the committee would be expecting memoranda from stakeholders and all those with special knowledge or who are in possession of documented facts and figures relating to the electricity sector since 1999.

Among those expected at the public hearing are former ministers of power and steel, some of who are presently serving as state governors. The affected governors include Olusegun Agagu of Ondo State, Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, Danjuma Goje of Gombe State and Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, who was a former chairman of House Committee on Power and Steel committee.
Others are former attorney generals, accountant generals, governors of Central Bank of Nigeria, special assistants to ministers of power, ministers of finance, inspector generals of police, heads of the army, air force and navy, from 1999 to May 29 2007.

Also expected are ministerial departments affected by power supply, like water resources, Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), owners of Independent Power Projects, all permanent secretaries, secretaries to government of the federation, local government chairmen and Nigerians in Diaspora.

Agencies invited include Nigerian Society of Science, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Association of Consulting Engineers, Licensed Electrical Contractors Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Electrical Consumers Association, NACCIMA, MAN, NUBIFIE, civil society groups, consultants and Human Rights groups.

The searchlight would be extended to foreign embassies and missions that connived to wreck the power sector.

Although Elumelu said that nobody had been indicted so far, he, however, gave assurance that anybody found culpable in the scam would be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) for prosecution.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.