Senate moves to enforce use of coins for transactions
• To summon Fashola, Adamu over seizure of €156m power equipment by NPA
The Senate has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sanction any commercial bank that refuses to collect coins from customers as deposits.Adopting a motion sponsored by Senator Mustapha Bukar (APC, Katsina North) titled “Non usage of coins currencies in Nigeria and its negative effects on the economy,” the upper legislative chamber charged the apex bank to convert lower currency notes into coins to be used with notes in order to facilitate retail transactions in the country.
Bukar expressed concern that despite the huge budget by the apex bank on sensitising Nigerians on the need to accept coins, banks and customers reject the currency, thus promoting corruption and escalating inflation.
Meanwhile, the Senate has expressed concern over the fate of vital equipment meant for the completion of the 245 megawatts Kaduna power plant said to be wasting at Onne Port in Rivers State since 2015.
It has therefore resolved to invite the Power, Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola and his Water Resources counterpart, Suleiman Adamu on how to salvage the equipment.
The decision followed disclosure by officials of the Ministry of Power to the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, headed by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe on the condition of the equipment.
The Director of Distribution at the Ministry of Power, Priscilla Sapke, who briefed the Senate committee during a tour of some power stations, said several appeals to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other agencies in Onne were unsuccessful, as the port had seized 19 containers containing accessories to be used at Kaduna power plant.
According to her: “The directive is that they should release government’s goods and talk later about commercial issues but they refused.” Due to this refusal, the project meant to last 24 months now has no definite date of completion.
Officials of General Electric and Rockson Engineering told the committee that the project would be completed in November this year if the equipment were released.
Chairman of Senate Committee on Power, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said: “The committee is disappointed. This is a project that should have been completed years back, but we are not even sure when it would be completed. Our worry is on the Nigerian public who are going to pay for this.”