The House of Representatives, Thursday mandated its public accounts committee to probe the alleged spending of N10 billion by the petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Maduekwe, to charter and maintain a private jet for her personal use over the last two years.
The legislators arrived at this position following a motion by Samuel Babatunde Adejare (APC Lagos), who expressed concern that despite “the dwindling national revenue which has reduced the quality of governance and deprived the people of dividends of democracy, an official of government could waste public funds on such luxury for extra official use”.
Adejare said that are indications that the expenditure on a private key charter is “only a tip of the iceberg, as several other billions of naira have been allegedly wasted on flying jets all over the world obviously for the leisure of the minister and her immediate family on trips that are of no benefits to the country”.
In his motion titled ‘Urgent Need to Investigate the Waste of Resources on the Arbitrary Charter and Maintenance of a Challenger 850 Aircraft for non-official Use’, the lawmaker said he had evidence that the minister has been committing the sum of 500,000 Euros (N130 million naira) monthly to maintain the aircraft.
Going by this estimate, Alison-Madueke would have committed at least N3.120 billion in maintaining the private jet which is used solely for her personal needs and those of her immediate family, in the last two years, Adejare said
He said: “This colossal waste is currently estimated at N10 billion which include the payment of allowances to the crew for the trips, hanger parking and rent based on the lease agreement”.
The lawmaker reminded his colleagues that in recent times, most states of the federation have been facing acute shortage of allocations due to the dwindling federal revenue which has reduced the quality of governance and deprived the people of dividends of democracy, and that for a public officer to be able to afford such luxury in the midst of this shows that there are more shocking revelations to be uncovered.
The House, therefore, directed the committee to conclude the investigative hearing within two weeks and report back.