Alleged $350m diversion: Senate Summons Fashola

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THE Senate has summoned Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, over alleged diversion of $350 million from the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, by his ministry.

Fashola The minister is to appear before the Senate Committees on Public Accounts and Power to  give a detailed account in terms of public funds spent on the Fast Power Projects (Afam Fast Power Project in particular); evidence of feasibility study indicating the viability of the projects, and requisite appropriation by the National Assembly as required by the Constitution; and the controversial presidential approval for the projects.

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Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South), would chair the Joint Committee. Resolutions of the Senate, yesterday, were sequel to a motion by Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West), entitled “Monumental Fraud in the Power Sector.” The Senate also mandated the committees to investigate and summon, if necessary, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA; Nigerian Electricity Bulk Trading Company, NBET, etc., to generally establish the status of the funds ($350 million) and report back to the Senate within two weeks.

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The Senate would like to know how Ministry of Power, Works and Housing spent another $35 million on a single power project and wants to pay another $29 million to General Electric, GE, as cost for turbines as well as another $6 million in consultancy fees to other companies, all of which were done without appropriation by National Assembly. Senate also mandated a full probe of $500 million Eurobond with NNPC and another $150 million with Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN.

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Hamilton Nwosa

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