By Raphael Ekpang
As 2020 budget defence continues at the national assembly, the Senate Committee on power has allegedly uncovered a monumental fraud in the ministry of power and the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
The Committee Chairman Senator Gabriel Suswan disclosed this at the 2020 budget defence of the Ministry.
Part of the discovery was an alleged plot by the Permanent Secretary ministry of Power Mr. Loius Edozien and the managing director of TCN UJ Mohammed to sell five operational air crafts inherited from the defunct National Electric Power Authority, NEPA.
The Senate Committee noted with concern that the Permanent Secretary had Secretary published a tender for the bidding of four helicopters and one perfect Aircraft which the TCN described as scraps.
The four helicopters and the perfect Aircraft which value the Senate Committee put at Billions of Dollars were advertised for $180, 000 per aircraft by the management of ministry of power and the Transmission Company of Nigeria and some alleged external collaborators.
The Senate Committee frowned at the bidding process which put the cost of bidding at N50 million which excluded Nigerians from participating in the process.
The Committee noted that the TCN was unable to account for the millions of Dollars that came up as global donations to boost transmission for the past two years, despite the billions of Naira allocated by the Federal government.
Documents exclusively obtained by our correspondent show that the $83 million Dollar the TCN claimed to have saved on behalf of Nigeria has not been receipted and there is no evidence or acknowledgement of same by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Senate noted with dissatisfaction the expenditure by the TCN.
According to the Committee, “Out of the N63 billion generated by the Company in 2019, N43billion could not be accounted for by the TCN”
The Committee expressed worried that most of the projects initiated by TCN remained conduits pipe.
Meanwhile, the committee accused them; taking loans from donors and giving it back to them while making contract difficult for indigenous Contractors, defrauding Nigerians who can do the job.
The Committee investigation revealed that most of the projects commissions by the TCN are not functioning as there are no transformers to power them.
Some of the projects mentioned are the substations the TCN claimed to have awarded at $ 1.661 billion donations from the World Bank through the African Development Bank, the $270 m ring station for the Federal Capital Territory.
Others are North East $30 AFDB, EU, none has been commission.
The Committee noted that it was not able to trace the receipt used to clear the equipment.
The TCN attracted the largest grant in the history during the period.
Some of the donations included JICA grant $ 13m focapator banks for Apo and Keffi which was launched in 2018,$21 million JICA for upgrading of Apapa Road 132 kv substation and rehabilitation of Akangba 330KV substation .
TCN also got 25 million Euro from EU as part of finance for Northern corridor which excluded the North East
The entire project has been embedded in waste.