House probes Mam­bila hy­dro­elec­tric power pro­ject

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives has be­gun in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the al­leged in­fla­tion of con­tracts for the Mam­bila multi-pur­pose dam and hy­dro­elec­tric power pro­ject to as­cer­tain the level of trans­parency and due process com­pli­ance in their award.

The law­mak­ers re­solved to con­sti­tute an ad hoc com­mit­tee that will specif­i­cally in­ves­ti­gate the process lead­ing to the award of the con­tracts and iden­tify pos­si­ble in­fringe­ments of ex­ist­ing laws in the process.

Mem­bers agreed on the po­si­tion fol­low­ing a mo­tion by Rep Austin Chuk­wukere (APC, Imo) on the is­sue.

A sum of $6.10 mil­lion was es­ti­mated for the power pro­ject out of which the fed­eral gov­ern­ment pro­vided 15 per cent, while the con­trac­tor would pro­vide the re­main­ing amount.

How­ever, said Rep Chuk­wukere, “while the first phase of the pro­ject was duly awarded and com­pleted by the com­pa­nies con­tracted for the job, the con­tract for the sec­ond phase was al­leged to have been awarded by the then Min­is­ter of Power, whose name he didn’t men­tion, with­out re­course to due process.

“The al­leged con­tract was awarded at the cost of $6 bil­lion, ap­par­ently with­out re­course to com­pet­i­tive bid­ding,” the leg­is­la­tor said.

He ex­pressed the law­mak­ers’ con­cern that the re­forms in the power sec­tor so far have not yielded the re­quired ca­pac­ity for the sus­te­nance of sta­ble

The House mem­bers also re­solved to probe the ac­tiv­i­ties of the Nige­ria Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity (NCAA) and the Na­tional Airspace Man­age­ment Agency (NAMA) on safety of do­mes­tic air trav­ellers.

The House sub­se­quently tasked its avi­a­tion com­mit­tee, when con­sti­tuted, to in­ves­ti­gate the two agen­cies, with re­gards to their con­sti­tu­tional roles of reg­u­lat­ing the Nige­rian airspace and the air­lines.

This was se­quel to a mo­tion by Rep Henry Achi­bong (PDP, Akwa Ibom), who said there was the need to es­tab­lish whether in­frac­tions or neg­li­gence from the side of the two agen­cies were what in­formed what he called the “dan­ger­ous air trans­port” ten­den­cies of some air­lines.

Rep Achi­bong told the House that it was a source of con­cern that “most of the air­craft which con­vey pas­sen­gers on a daily ba­sis to dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try are worn out, while some are over 20 years old and have been writ­ten off in the coun­tries from where they were pur­chased.”

Most crashes in Nige­ria, he main­tained, re­sulted “from the use of out­dated air­planes, poor main­te­nance of some and lack of su­per­vi­sion from rel­e­vant author­i­ties.”

He pointed out that de­spite all the pre­vi­ous air crashes in the coun­try, there was no of­fi­cial re­port from the rel­e­vant author­i­ties as re­gards the ac­tual causes of the dis­as­ters. He, there­fore, called for the probe of such agen­cies.

In pass­ing the res­o­lu­tion, the law­mak­ers asked its leg­isla­tive com­pli­ance com­mit­tee to mon­i­tor the level of com­pli­ance and the progress of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion for max­i­mum re­sults.

Mam­billa Hy­dro Dam, Taraba State

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