The House of Representatives decided to investigate the contracts awarded and the Federal Government’s payments to contractors to revive the power sector.
The probe will cover the $16 billion spent by the administration led by President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007, according to a motion unanimously adopted by the House in the plenary on Thursday.
It will also cover Umaru Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan, and Muhammadu Buhari, the incumbent administrations. A member, Mr Sada Soli, moved the motion, entitled ‘ Need to review government expenditure on the power sector in order to guarantee support for Nigeria’s power reform program. ‘
The legislators decided to set up an ad hoc committee to “conduct a comprehensive investigative hearing on how much money was spent on the energy sector reform program over the years without commensurate results and report back for further legislative action within six weeks.”
While moving the movement, Soli said, “The House notes that the aim of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act was to remove the sector’s inefficiency to transform it into a more efficiently managed sector. The reform of the power sector was anticipated to open opportunities for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, boost access to electricity in the processing of farm products, generate job opportunities for the vibrant graduates of Nigeria and improve the country’s socio-economic growth.
“The House recalls that the House of Representatives held an investigative hearing in 2008 on the alleged expenditure of roughly $16 billion on the power sector. The goal for power generation was that by 2020, the country would have attained 40,000 MW on the basis of supposed investments in the suggested power plants, but this generation goal has been eluded by the country to date.
“The House acknowledges the President’s lamentation (Muhammadu Buhari) that such enormous amounts of billions of dollars could be invested without adequate outcomes in generating, transmitting and distributing the country’s power supply.”
The House also called on security agencies in Delta State on Thursday to criminalize open-grazing.
The House adopted a motion in plenary denouncing the killing, banditry and destruction of farms by alleged herdsmen in the state’s Ethiope region.
The motion, moved by Mr. Ben Igbakpa, was entitled ‘ Herdsmen’s incessant killings, banditry, and crop destruction in Ethiope East/Ethiope West Federal Constituency. ‘
The lawmakers unanimously decided to urge the security agencies – the Army, the Nigerian Police Force, the Department of State Services and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps to “as a matter of urgency midwife, a meeting of stakeholders in Ethiope Federal Constituency and herdsmen’s leadership to overcome the tension and find a permanent solution to this recurring security environment.”
They urged the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the Federal Ministry of Information and the National Orientation Agency to raise awareness among herdsmen about the need to “restrict grazing, where permitted, bushes and uncultivated and uncultivated crops.”