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Reps to probe PHCN, NIPP over N2.8bn procurement

The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated its Committees on Custom and Excise, Power, Banking and Currency to probe the payment of N2.8 billion and other processes involved in the clearing of overtime charges for power sector equipment procured by Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) and others.

The House also charged the committees to recommend measures to help block leakages and report back in three weeks for further legislative action.

These decisions followed a motion sponsored during plenary by Mr. Gaza Jonathan (APC, Nasarawa).

Debating the motion on the floor, Jonathan revealed that between 2012 and 2013, before the unbundling of PHCN, the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)  procured equipment with an understanding that the goods will be delivered.

The lawmaker explained that concessions in the form of tax exemption were granted to facilitate quick clearing and delivery of the equipment due to their urgent requirement to boost the power sector which was in a bad state.

According to him, these equipment which were granted priority at the time of procurement should have been evacuated within days of arrival but were abandoned and have now been turned into a conduit pipe for siphoning of billions of naira from the government in the name of overtime charges and other sundry fees.

A number of these equipment have been cleared fraudulently and illegally by some Distribution and Generating Companies, he added.

An adoption of the motion was therefore made without debate as requested by Speaker Yakubu Dogara based on its investigative nature.

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cc: OrderPaperToday

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