‘Monumental fraud’ — Melaye says ministry of power ‘stole $350m in installments’

Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West at the National Assembly, says a total of $350 million has been pilfered in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, between 2014 and 2017.

Melaye made the allegation during Thursday’s senate plenary, adding that two companies, General Electric and IBEX, were involved in the fraud.

“Mr. President, in line with the anti-corruption posture of this chamber and especially now that our cries, observations are yielding dividends as expressly manifested in the case of Babachir Lawal, today, I bring to the attention of this Senate a monumental fraud in the power sector,” Melaye said.

“In July 2013, the federal Government raised $1 billion from Eurobond issue. From the proceeds, $350 million was given to IBEX in 2014.

“Mr. President, this money was stolen in installments. As I speak to you, some time last year again, the Ministry of Power came up with a term they call fast power. This indigested project is supposed to build new generating plants to add power to our grid.

“Mr President, there are few questions we need to ask and that is why I need the nod of the Senate to bring a substantive motion to move in the next legislative day.






     

     

    “These are the few questions: Up to date, there is no detail to build this new generating plant or a feasibility study, there is no appropriation by the National Assembly for these projects.

    “The Ministry has spent so far $35 million on the Afam fast power project that has no appropriation or feasibility studies. How and when was this money appropriated, we need to find out.

    “Out of this money, $29 million was purportedly paid to General Electric for turbines while $6 million was paid to others. These, among many other monumental frauds, are taking place. We need the Senate to investigate this.”

    Bukola Saraki, the Senate President, granted Melaye permission to present the issue as a motion during the next sitting.

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