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Lawmakers probe outage, NEMA, summon Akpabio over NDDC’s expenditure

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The Senate has resolved to investigate the setbacks in power generation, transmission and distribution nationwide.

Consequently, an ad hoc committee has been empanelled and is to report back to the chamber in four weeks.

To match the size of Nigeria’s economy and improve its developmental status, the Senate urged the Federal Government to raise its benchmark of installed capacity to 100,000 megawatts for the most populous black nation.

The lawmakers rejected the proposed ban on importation of power-generating sets pending a substantial improvement in the sector, urging the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to devise power generation models that boost economic and industrial clusters whose dependence on regional grids would be semi-autonomous but interconnected to the national grid.

The red chamber equally implored government to upgrade the nation’s transmission infrastructure.

The resolutions followed a motion titled, “addressing Nigeria’s power problems,” sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North).

Leading the debate, the lawmaker had lamented that Nigeria ranks among the lowest in electricity availability per capita in the world.

Also, the upper legislative chamber yesterday directed its committees on Special Duties, Ecology and Climate Change and Environment to investigate the effectiveness of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to disaster response this year.

This was even as the legislators directed the agency to immediately implement a response programme for the floods that affected various communities in Demsa, Numa, Guyuk and Lamurde council areas of Adamawa State.

The decisions were sequel to a point of order raised by Senator Yaroe Binos (PDP-Adamawa South) at plenary.

Also yesterday, the House of Representatives ordered the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to immediately suspend all payments and expenditure for running the 2019 fiscal year without an approved budget by the National Assembly.

It consequently summoned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to explain why the commission had been spending “un-appropriated” funds.

The decision followed the adoption of a motion on the urgent need to “investigate the failure and refusal of NDDC to submit its budget estimates for 2019 to the National Assembly for approval” brought by Benjamin Okezie Kalu (APC, Abia).


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