Federal Government approves N26 billion to pay debt owed DISCOs by MDAs
• To investigate export of rotten yam tubers to U.S.
• Don’t drag Nigeria into your predicament, FG tells Diezani
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved N26 billion to facilitate the payment of accumulated debt owed electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) for power consumed by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola told State House Correspondents after Council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari that the amount was below the N70 billion claim by the DISCOs as debt owed them by the Federal Government.
He explained that the amount is expected to be deducted from the N500 billion which the companies are currently owing the Federal Government as its share of their electricity revenue earnings.
According to Fashola, the amount approved for payment by FEC is what has been verifiable after the claim by the DISCOS.
The minister argued that the electricity companies may have lumped up debts owned by some state governments and other organisations not owned by the Federal Government to have arrived at the N70 billion debt claim.
The Federal Government has vowed to launch a thorough investigation of the individuals and company who facilitated the export of rotten yam tubers to the United States (U.S.) from Nigeria.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe, said government will also investigate the Quarantine Department of the Ministry of Agriculture to find out why the poor consignment left the shores of Nigeria.
While absolving Nigeria of blame in the poor consignment shipped to the U.S., Ogbe said the development should rather be placed on the doorstep of the private individuals who facilitated the export.
He told reporters that: “The ministry is not an exporter, the exporters are private people.”
The Federal Government has asked former minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke to face the charges preferred against her in the United Kingdom (UK) rather than engage in attempts to drag Nigeria into her predicament.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami after the meeting shrugged off Diezani’s appeal saying that would interfere with and jeopardize the British Government’s ongoing investigation in the UK.
“If Nigeria feels strongly that there is need to bring Allison-Madueke here to face charges of corruption, government will not hesitate to do that.”
The Attorney-General explained that the Nigerian government was doing something, contrary to insinuations suggesting otherwise, “especially on issues of corruption and litigation in Nigeria and outside the country.
He also dismissed fears that the former minister may not get fare hearing in Nigeria when she eventually returns to Nigeria.
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