By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said the Ninth National Assembly will insist on accountability and transparency in the power sector, particularly in the application of funds proposed for it in the 2020 budget.
Lawan stated this on Monday when the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Joseph Chiedu Ugbo, led a delegation on a visit to the National Assembly, Abuja.
According to Lawan, the Senate and House Committees through the instrument of oversight will ensure the prudent application of all funds channeled to the power sector.
The Senate President said that the Federal Government had severally been shortchanged in agreements entered into with generating and distribution companies in the past.
He, however, warned that those behind shortchanging the government through power deals will be held accountable for their actions.
He said, “One of the challenges Nigeria is faced with today and for a very long time in the area of development is power. Until we are able to fix the power situation, development will continue to be difficult to achieve.
“This is one area we will continue to give priority to ensure we are able to meet the targets. It’s not going to be easy, but the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari has shown clear determination in ensuring we get power fixed.
“The power sector has been surrounded with controversies for a long time. When the NIPP started, so many things were said; some of which are true.
“Expenditures were made in the past, and we did not see commensurate results from the expenditures. It is something to worry about.
“Some persons also have the tendencies to sign agreements that sometimes are clearly against the national interest. Time has come for people to stop doing this.
“In most cases, the Federal Government was shortchanged in some of the agreements signed by the people. I really don’t know what they were thinking.
“We need to be very careful. Time will come when people will be held responsible for their actions.
“Billions of dollars will just disappear like that, and there still won’t be power. This National Assembly will not close its eyes or not take any action if our nation is shortchanged.