Another scandal is brewing in the House of Representatives as the chairman of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr Sam Amadi, yesterday disclosed that the commission paid N31million to members of the House Committee on Power for capacity training of its members with no evidence that the training ever took place.
Amadi, who disclosed this when he appeared before the House Committee on Public Accounts yesterday, said the money was collected by the aide of the chairman of the committee in the 6th Assembly in two batches of N18million and N13million, adding that the office had documents to back his claims.
The NERC boss was answering to financial queries raised against his office for 2009 and 2010 by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation at a meeting organised by the Public Accounts Committee of the House.
Responding to the allegations, chairman of the committee, Hon Adeola Olamilekan, said the committee would investigate the allegation to ascertain its authenticity or otherwise.
“This is a very serious issue that borders on a standing committee of the House of Representatives. We are not going to look at it on the surface; we will get to the root of the matter,” he said.
However, a former member of the Public Accounts Committee, Hon Idris Ahmed, dismissed the allegation as untrue, saying that “as an active member of the committee at that time, I was not aware of such money and the capacity training workshop; it is not true”.
Dr Amadi at this juncture pleaded with the committee to give him enough time to gather more necessary information for the proper defence of the queries.
In a related development, the lawmakers discovered that the commission paid a sum of $5,000 to a foreign resource person through the black market and not through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, which signified interest in carrying out the transaction on behalf of the commission but demanded relevant documents that would facilitate the transaction.
Senate Summons Warri MD Over Refinery Fire
The Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources ( Downstream) has summoned Managing Director of Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company, Chief Paul Obelley, over the October 22 fire incident at the plant.
Chief Obelley is expected to appear before the Senate Committee with top management of the refinery tomorrow, October 31, to explain circumstances surrounding the fire incident at the refinery.
Information from Leadership was used in this report.