Fashola Senate summons minister over planned $350m diversion

Fashola summon was sequel to a motion raised by Senator Dino Melaye.

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Babatunde Fashola, Minister for Power, Works and Housing play

Babatunde Fashola, Minister for Power, Works and Housing

(Guardian)
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The Nigerian Senate has summoned the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola over an alleged 'planned diversion' of the sum of $350 million to the Fast Power Projects.

The Senate resolution was sequel to a motion entitled: ‘Monumental fraud in the power sector’ by Senator Dino Melaye on Wednesday, November 8, 2017.

Senator Dino Melaye play

Senator Dino Melaye

 

The federal government had taken the sum of $350 million and released same to the Nigeria Electric Trading Company (NBET) Plc as part of shareholder contribution to shore up its capitalization.

The fund was, however, domiciled with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

ALSO READ: Billions 'installmentally stolen' in Fashola’s ministry, says Dino Melaye

Speaking at plenary on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, Melaye alleged that there was a ‘desperate attempt’ by the ministry to retrieve the sum of $350 million and ‘divert’ same to the Fast Power Project.

His words: “The Senate is alarmed that there is now a desperate move that by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to retrieve the $350 million and divert same to the so called Fast Power Projects which the ministry alone payed $29 million to General Electric (GE) as cost for turbines and $6 million in constituency fees to other entities respectively all without requisite feasibility study of projects and appropriation by the National Assembly as required by the Constitution.”

The Kogi-West lawmaker noted that the process of bidding and transaction was ‘cloaked in secrecy’.

Melaye accused the ministry of “persistently violating the Constitution and extant laws on due process by insisting that the NSIA should release the $350 million meant to NBET on the pretext of acting under the purported presidential approval.”

The upper chamber resolved to invite Fashola to render a detailed account in terms of funds spent on the Fast Power Projects.

Fashola is also expected to provide evidence of feasibility study indicating the viability of the projects and requisite appropriation by the National Assembly.