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Reps to investigate alleged diversion of power funds

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The House of Representatives has adopted a motion mandating the Committee on Power to investigate the alleged diversion of funds appropriated for the power sector, and the apparent disregard of due process in the award of projects.

Raising the motion, Mr. Yunusa Ahmad (APC, Gombe) noted that the country has been grappling with poor power supply for a long time, despite efforts by several administrations to address the situation. During his presentation, the lawmaker highlighted the important role power plays, especially in the development and economic advancement of any nation.

He went on to add that the current administration has prioritised the provision of stable power supply to citizens in its scheme of projects and, hopefully, this will herald the industrialization of the country.

He said, “…funds were appropriated by the National Assembly in the 2016 and 2017 budgets for various power projects, some of which were awarded and are at various stages of completion, while others are yet to be awarded.

“The allegation that the bulk of the funds appropriated in the 2016 and 2017 budgets for the power projects was expended without regard to due process, and as a result, that contractors handling various projects are not being paid, a case in point being the Zungeru Hydro Power Project.

“That failure to pay contractors might lead to increase in the costs of the projects, apart from heightening the restiveness of resettled communities, which could present huge risks to the execution of the projects,” he submitted.

Ruling on the matter, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara asked the committee to investigate and report back in six weeks for further legislative action.

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