Melaye exposes another monumental fraud in the power sector

By Gideon Ayodele

Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi west senatorial district in a motion moved today has exposed a serious monumental fraud in the power sector.

Melaye noted that sometime in July 2013, the Federal Government raised a total sum of $1Billion through a Eurobond issue, of which the sum of $350 million was taken by the Federal Government out of the said proceed of the July 2013 Eurobond issue and released to Nigeria Electricity Bulk Trading Company (NBET) Plc, a Federal Government owned public liability company that deals in electricity trading and management of associated liabilities, as shareholder contribution to shore up its capitalization.

He also noted that the sum of $350 million released to NBET was to demonstrate NBET’s preparedness to assume its role as a government backed electricity bulk trader to provide market confidence in the privatized electricity market.

The legislator observed that this move by the federal Government was intended to backstop NBET’s with new investors in the electricity market especially new generation companies and to provide assurance to them that NBET is a credit worthy off-taker of power with then requisite capitalization to meet its payment obligation to both greenfield and brownfields power companies.

He also noted that as confidence building measure, the said money (i.e $350 million) was domicile with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) for reinvestment in low risk investment and structured in a manner that NBET can call for fund at short notice when required.

Observed that the fund has been with NSIA since 2014 and has helped build market confidence especially among new investors in the electricity market who see NBET’s positive balance sheet as a form of security that their investments are safe and that the wherewithal to meet its payment obligations.

Melaye alarmed that there is a desperate attempt by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to retrieve this fund and divert same to fund the so called Fast Power Projects which the ministry has already spent $35 million of public fund not appropriated by the National Assembly.

He further alarmed that since the introduction of the Fast Power Project by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, a total sum of $35 million has been spent by the Ministry on Afam Power Project alone to pay #29 million to General Electric (GE) as cost for turbines and $6million in consultancy fees to other entities respectively, all without requisite feasibility study of the projects and appropriation by the National Assembly as required by the constitution.

Melaye expressed concern that the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing is determined to persist in this brazen violation of the constitution and extant laws on due process by insisting that the NSIA should release the $350 million meant to NBET on the pretext of acting under a purported presidential approval.
Expressed an urgent need to bring the ministry to order regarding its planned diversion of the sum of $350million meant for NBET and further demand a detail account of unappropriated public funds spent on the controversial Fast Power Project.

Post a Comment