Electricity power station

Electricity power station

Senate Begins Probe Of Obasanjo, Yaradua, Jonathan’s Govt Spending On Power Sector

Nigeria’s Senate will on Tuesday begin investigation into an alleged mismanagement of funds allocated to the power sector from 1999 when the country returned to democratic rule till date.

Electricity power station

The power sector appears to have become an avenue for successive top government officials to enrich their pockets during the 16 years administration of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Consequently, the ad hoc committee on power headed by Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC Borno North), is expected to probe the regimes of Olusegun Obasanjo, late Umar Yar’adua and the immediate past Goodluck Jonathan as it relates to billions of naira expended on the sector.

In a statement on Monday, the Clerk of the Senate Committee on Power , Cletus Ojabo, said the probe would be in form of investigative hearing/interactive session from and with various key stakeholders in the sectors during the period under review.

According to him “the investigation will centre on funds appropriated for the power sector since 1999 to the point of unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and all matters connected therewith”.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had at the inauguration of the committee, charged it to conduct a comprehensive probe of allegations of questionable practices in the power sector.

Kyari said the committee will take “A close look at the entire power value chain (generation, transmission and distribution) calls for review of our policies in order to obtain optimum performances across the Board. The abysmal performance of the generation segment is no longer news in view of the current deteriorating power supply which hovers around 4,600MW for a population of over 170million people, despite the huge resources committed into it. This compared with our contemporaries is highly regrettable. No wonder so many companies have relocated from the shores of this nation, due to increasing cost of production.

“The issue of turn around maintenance, gas pipeline vandalisation, just a mention but a few are some of the teething problems bedeviling the sector. We must address it now in order to stem this destructive tide. The Committee will beam its searchlight in this direction to put things in proper perspectives.

“Having realized that the Transmission Segment is the major linkage between the generation and distribution fronts, increasing our capacity in this direction is also very necessary, since power produced must be utilised immediately. Deteriorating infrastructures in this segment must be addressed forthwith. The Committee attaches great importance to this and would work assiduously in ensuring that all these leakages or slippages in this area are brought to the front burner and dealth with.

“It is in line with this objective that the Committee would be seeking explanations from the Management of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on the terms of their Management Contract with the Federal Government as it relates to assets inherited, funds injected into the Company so far and the achievement recorded”.

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