From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Power to investigate the N701 billion Payment Assurance Facility and the N194 billion interest payment approved by the Federal Government for funding gas supply and generation sub-sectors of the electricity industry.
The committee is to report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.
The mandate of the House was sequel to the adoption of a motion raised by a member, Chris Azubogu, on the need to investigate the approval of N701 billion for Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) and the N194 billion interest payment, approved by the Federal Executive Council for key interventions in the power sector as well as other payments to Distribution Companies (DISCOS), by the government.
Leading the debate on the motion, Azubogu, stressed the importance of the House investigating the management of funds approved by Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading company even as the Federal Government and the World Bank Group have plans to again provide, US$2.519 billion for NBET as payment guarantee for the power generating and gas supplier companies to ensure stable power supply that will drive the economy.
The lawmaker maintained that the investigation by House was a proactive measure aimed at promoting transparency and accountability. He noted that it would be highly detrimental to the economy should parliament take reactionary measures, rather than be proactive in asking if Federal Government followed due process in approving the funds for NBET and DISCOs.
Speaking in support of the motion, Munir Bappa, said the call for an investigation by parliament was in order.
He said with it was disappointing that with the huge financial investments made as support by government to make the power sector reforms beneficial to majority of the people, customers are full of complaints over the services of DISCOs.
When Speaker Yakubu Dogara, who presided over plenary yesterday called for a voice vote, the motion was passed without dissent.