The Senate, on Wednesday, voted to summon the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) over the alleged plan by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to secure the release of $350m domiciled in the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to finance electricity projects.
The lawmakers specifically criticised the Ministry for allegedly spending $35m out of the money on power projects without approval by the National Assembly following the adoption of a motion moved by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi-West), at plenary titled, ‘Monumental Fraud in the Power Sector.’
Granting a prayer of the motion, the Senate mandated its Senate committees on Power; and Public Accounts to invite Fashola to render a detailed account in terms of public funds spent on the Fast Power Projects (Afam Fast Power Project in particular).
The Minister would also provide evidence of the feasibility study indicating the viability of the projects; the requisite appropriation by the National Assembly as required by the constitution; and the presidential approval for the projects.
Another prayer was also granted to mandate the committee to investigate and consider summoning the NSIA, the Nigeria Electricity Bulk Trading Company, etc., to generally establish the status of the funds ($350m) and to report back to the Senate within two weeks.
The Senate also unanimously granted the prayer to “direct the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to stop or suspend all attempts or efforts to pressurise the NSIA to release $350m meant for NBET to the Ministry for use on the controversial fast power projects.”