ABUJA, Nigeria – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila says that unpatriotic activities of serving and retired public office holders are responsible for the socio-economic misfortune in the power sector.
Gbajabiamila spoke while declaring open the investigative hearing into the Federal Government’s abandoned power projects from 1999 to date.
The Speaker, represented by the Chief Whip, Rep. Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno), expressed his displeasure with the state of power in the country.
He said that the motion on the need to review government’s expenditure on the power sector to ensure sustenance of the power reform programme in Nigeria was referred to the Ad-hoc Committee on Thursday.
“You will agree with me that from 1999 to date, the National Assembly has appropriated huge sums of monies in the power sector and there are lots and much to be desired from the sector.
“The problem is you and I; we are not patriotic enough in the discharge of our responsibilities to our nation.
“Again, I want to state that it is embarrassing that when you pick-up newspaper, what you read is probe, probe, and probe; many heads to roll; EFCC to investigate.
“It is time in our nation building to rethink and press the reset button on what we do, how we do them with a view to ensuring that we get value for the monies appropriated for projects,” he said.
Gbajabiamila said that Nigerians were virtually in every part of the world largely in search of stable electricity supply, good medical health facilities, quality education among others.
According to him, it is time we set our hearts correcting all that is wrong so that we can create an enabling environment for our children.
“The constitution of this Ad-hoc Committee is to enable the House in moving forward, take a critical evaluation of monies appropriated vis-a-vis their utilisations.
“However, in the course of carrying out this assignment, the committee is at liberty in line with Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to invite any organisation, agency, person, either still in active service or retired to make clarification where necessary,” he stressed.
Also, Rep. Usman Kumo (APC-Gombe) Acting Chairman of the ad hoc committee, explained that the exercise was aimed at reviewing government’s expenditure in the power sector from 1999 to date.
He said that committee was constituted on Wednesday with a clear mandate to investigate the Federal Government’s abandoned power projects.
Kumo said that the aim was to find the major encumbrances affecting the projects and to make appropriate recommendations on the ways to complete the projects within the life span of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“Having established the powers and legitimacy of our action, we are here today to provide all relevant stakeholders the platform and opportunity to make their informed submissions and contributions on the matter.
“We, therefore, urge you to be objective, truthful and observe decorum throughout our sitting here today,” he said.
Stakeholders at the event include Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), management team from all the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and GENCOS, among others.