PPPRA faces Se­nate probe over un­remit­ted N800bn FERMA fund

The Punch - - BUSINESS & ECONOMY - Sun­day Aborisade, Abuja

PRES­I­DENT of the Se­nate, Ah­mad Lawan, has said the Se­nate will in­ves­ti­gate the Pe­tro­leum Prod­ucts Pric­ing Reg­u­la­tory Agency over an al­leged non-re­mit­tance of N800bn to the Fed­eral Roads Main­te­nance Agency.

FERMA was ex­pected to main­tain all ma­jor roads across the coun­try with the amount.

Lawan stated this af­ter the pas­sage of a bill for an Act to re­peal the Fed­eral Roads Main­te­nance Agency Act, 2002 and to es­tab­lish the Fed­eral Roads Author­ity Bill, 2019.

He said, “I be­lieve that we need to de­mand what hap­pened to over N800bn that the PPPRA was al­leged to have col­lected.

“I think that we will take that as a sep­a­rate is­sue be­cause we need to ver­ify and con­firm, even for the sake of al­low­ing the PPPRA to de­fend it­self. This is not some­thing that we can sweep un­der the car­pet. N800bn can do a lot of things for our coun­try.”

The Se­nate pres­i­dent said pre­vi­ous ef­forts by Nige­ria to­wards the con­ces­sion of gov­ern­ment en­ter­prise failed as a re­sult of sys­temic cor­rup­tion.

He called for Pub­lic-pri­vate Part­ner­ship in the con­struc­tion of roads across the coun­try for gov­ern­ment to achieve its re­spon­si­bil­ity of pro­vid­ing good roads.

He said, “Cor­rup­tion is also re­spon­si­ble for some of the chal­lenges we face in our road sec­tor.

“We re­call that the pri­vati­sa­tion of var­i­ous en­ter­prises was made right from 1986 till date, and in most cases the pri­vati­sa­tion or con­ces­sion pro­cesses were flawed and of course, we suf­fer as a coun­try.”

The spon­sor of the bill, Se­na­tor Ger­shom Bassey, in his lead de­bate, said that the 36,000km fed­eral road net­work re­mained the largest and most valu­able sin­gle pub­lic in­fra­struc­ture as­set owned by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

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