Senate Uncovers N16bn Budget ‘Duplication’ In Fashola’s Ministry

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The Senate Committee on Power has expressed concerns about ‘duplicated’ items amounting to N16 billion in the budget of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing.

The lawmakers made their views known at the ministry’s budget defence before the committee on Monday by Mustapha Baba Shehuri, the Minister of State for Power.

According to The Cable, the legislators wondered why two items listed in the budget of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) also appeared in that of the power ministry.

The items in question are the N4 billion earmarked for Kashimbilla transmission and N12 billion counterpart funding for transmission lines and substation projects.

Speaking on the matter, Sen. Adamu Aliero (APC – Kebbi Central), reportedly described the items as “misleading.”

He said, “The N4 billion and N12 billion appeared on TCN budget when they came to defend their budget.

“Why are you presenting the same now? The figure is misleading.”

Also, Bukar Mustapha, senator representing (APC-Katsina north) said the Kashimbilla item had nothing to do with the power ministry.

“Kashimbilla budget has nothing do to with the ministry. There are many, this has been the problem of the power sector,” he lamented.

In the same vein, Sen. Clifford Ordia (PDP – Edo Central) queried why the ministry was spending N100 million on transfer of office files and N888 million on purchase of vehicles.

He said, “I need to understand this thing. Look at the different pages. You earmarked N120 million, N288 million and N480 million for the purchase of vehicles. I do not understand. Are these vehicles different? If you add up this figure, it gives you about N888 million.”

He added, “You also said that you want to spend N100 million on transfer of office files. How do you intend to do that? The people in your office, what have they been doing?

“I can also see from your estimates here that you captured another item for ICT, different from the N100 million for transfer of files. You need to explain these things.”

The committee thereafter summoned the full Minister, Babatunde Fashola to appear before it to explain some issues related to the budget at a new date.

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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