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Reps uncover $12.93bn energy contracts

Posted by By JAMES OJO, Abuja on 2008/03/14 | Views: 443 |

Reps uncover $12.93bn energy contracts


House of Representatives Committee on Power and Steel, at the weekend hinted that it had been able to trace contracts on which $12.93 billion of the $16 billion reportedly spent on the power sector by the Obasanjo regime. It insisted on unveiling how the balance of $3.07billion was spent.

•Probe begins tomorrow

House of Representatives Committee on Power and Steel, at the weekend hinted that it had been able to trace contracts on which $12.93 billion of the $16 billion reportedly spent on the power sector by the Obasanjo regime. It insisted on unveiling how the balance of $3.07billion was spent.

This is a prelude to the public hearing slated to commence tomorrow to unravel the mystery behind the problems associated to the nation’s inability to improve the power sector, despite the whooping sum of $16 billion spent on it.

It was revealed that the World Bank Managing Director and former Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has also been summoned to appear before the committee to give details of the foreign loan component of the whooping expenditure.

Hon Ndudi Elumelu, the Chairman of the House Committee on Power and Steel who disclosed this when he received a delegation from Iran Transfo said there was a component of the money which came as a loan from the World Bank, adding that the bank’s representatives would be required to give further explanations on it.

Elumelu said that preliminary investigations have revealed how $12.93 billion was spent, adding that they would leave no stone unturned in the bid to unveil how the balance of $3.07billion was spent.
“Information from the ministry has it that the difference between the tracked sum and $16 billion was some unspent funds in the 2007 budget.

“We were told that the difference is in what was approved in the 2007 budget but was not released. We are now asking questions about what really happened,” he stated.
Giving a breakdown of channels of the funds, the committee boss said “$10 million was traceable to the Ministry of Energy, $3.2 billion to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), $500 million to the Rural Electrification Agency, $1.62 billion from the NNPC joint venture as well as $3.07 billion to NIPP. $4.06 billion came from internally generated revenue of the PHCN. The committee will be interested in how the contracts were executed as well as the yield.
“We want to look at the contracts. Who did the jobs? Did they actually do what they were supposed to do. For the NNPC joint venture we want to know how it was also spent.

Did they build power plants and forwarded the cost to the Federal Government. Or did they just made the money available for the contracts to be executed.
“We have invited the World Bank Managing Director to appear before us with details of the loan. How was the money disbursed. We want to see bank details of the funds disbursement.
“We also believe that the PHCN generated more money than was credited to it. We want to establish all these facts. So, we have invited all the contractors that handled jobs during the period in question.”
The committee, he noted was conscious of expectations of the citizenry and was determined to do a thorough job.

He said: “Let me warn that there will be no sacred cow. We will ensure that we do our best to satisfy the yearnings of Nigerians. It is a huge task we know, but we are determined to succeed in this assignment.”
On the visiting Iranian energy sector delegation, Elumelu said the visit was to seek ways of partnering with the Federal Government towards revamping the nation’s ailing public power sector.

The group, he added, has proposed to rehabilitate the plants at Kanji Power Station at a cost of $30million each.

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.