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Published On: Fri, Nov 3rd, 2017

Power: Fashola faces N12.8bn appropriation breaches in Senate

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Christiana Ekpa

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, was yesterday accused by the senate of extra budgetary spending to the tune of N12.8 billion naira, even as the senate President, Bukola Saraki, granted that a substantive motion to guide the senate on the action to take be brought before the chamber next week Tuesday.
The accusation followed a point of order 42 brought before the senate by the senator representing Kogi west, Dino Melaye, who had alleged that the Minister expenses the fund on Fast Power Project without any authorizing appropriation by the National Assembly.
According to Melaye, who noted that the one billion dollar Eurobond raised by the federal government last year is being stolen in installment, disclosed that the money which the Works, Power and Housing Minister expended without appropriation was removed from the Eurobond money.
Senator Melaye said the minister said invested the money in building new generating power plant to add to the national grid, adding that despite the claim by the minister, the senate discovered that there is no feasibility study done on the project by the senate.
He also intimated the senate that the minister expanded the money without appropriation by the National Assembly, which he said is contrary to the dictates of the constitution on spending of public funds.
In addition, he said in addition that out of the N12.8billion, N10.6billion was paid to the General Electric for installation of gas turbines, and other installation but regretted that the ministry cannot spend money that is not appropriated by the National Assembly.
In his remarks to the allegation, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, granted him the permission to bring substantive motion Tuesday next week to dissect the detailed of the allegation such as to enable the senate take appropriate action.
Meanwhile, the senate has granted the Inspector General of Police (IGP), till next week Tuesday to appear before its investigate panel unfailingly to respond to the allegations of pocketing N20billion made against him by Senator Misau.
Recall that Misau had accused the IGP of pocketing about N20billion collected from hotels, multinational agencies and companies, multinational oil companies, among others for provision of special security cover.
However, to this end, the senate had invited the IGP to appear before its committee set up to investigate the allegation to give his defense, but the IGP shunned the invitation on the grounds that the matter is already before Abuja High Court.
Coming through Order 43 yesterday, the chairman of the adhoc committee, Francis Alimekenah, said the committee resolved to give the IGP till Tuesday next week to appear before it unfailingly to respond to the charges against him. He said the senate will not be discouraged from doing its jobs.
According to the chairman of the Ad hoc Committee, the IGP sent a representative to came and informed the Senate panel that the matter has been lodged in the Federal High court and required no further intervention.
In his remarks, the senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the IGP should appear before the committee if he has nothing to hide, adding that the senate cannot be prevented in any way in doing its job.
He said nobody is above the law, and nothing precludes the IGP from appearing before the senate like others have done in the past if he has nothing to hide.

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