…Senate may commence probe next week
From: FRED ITUA, Abuja
Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, headed by Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has been fingered by the Senate in a $350 million fraud. According to the upper chamber, Fashola’s Ministry got about $1 billion from the Euro bond issued by the Federal Government in 2013.
Sen. Dino Melaye, relying on Order 42 of the Senate Standing Rules, raised the alarm, on Thursday, on the floor of the Red Chamber.
He sought the nod of the Senate President Bukola Saraki to sponsor a substantive motion at the next legislative day. He was given the leeway to bring a motion, next Tuesday.
According to Melaye, the sum of $350 million was given to IBEX in 2014 by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. He said the said money is being stolen installmentally stolen by officials of the Ministry.
“In line with the anti-corruption posture of this chamber especially now that our cries and observation are yielding evidence as expressly manifested in the case of Babachir Lawal, Today I bring to the attention of this Senate, a monumental fraud in the power sector.
“In July 2013, the FG raised N1 billion from a euro bond issue. From the proceed, the sum 350 million dollars was given to IBEX in 2014. This money is installmentally stolen,” Melaye alleged.
The Kogi State-born lawmaker further alleged that in 2016, Fashola’s Ministry came up with a project, named Fast Power. He said the Ministry, under the project, was supposed to build new generating plants to add to power grid.
He said the National Assembly did not approve any expenditure by the Ministry. He said officials of the Ministry are spending without the approval of the parliament.
He added: “As I speak to you, Mr President, sometime last year again, the Ministry of Power came up with the project they termed Fast Power. This indigested project is supposed to build new generating plants to add power to our grid.
“There are few questions I need to ask to bring a substantive motion up in another legislative day. Up till date, there are no details to build this new generating plant or feasibility study. There is no appropriation by the National Assembly for this project.
“The Ministry has spent $35 million on the affirmed Fast Power project that has no appropriation or no detailed feasibility study. How and when was this money appropriated? Out of this money, $29 million was purportedly paid to General Electric for turbines, while $6 million was paid to others. This amount, amongst others, is a monumental fraud. We need Senate to investigate this after moving a substantive motion,” Melaye said.