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Reps faults NERC’s N3.5b computer procurement, training budget

By Msugh Ityokura, Abuja
06 September 2022   |   4:17 am
House of Representatives Committee on Finance has faulted the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) over its 2023 budget of N3.5 billion for computer procurement and training alone.

NSA, service chiefs shun probe of Kuje prison attack

House of Representatives Committee on Finance has faulted the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) over its 2023 budget of N3.5 billion for computer procurement and training alone.

The lawmakers are alarmed at the kind of technology involved in electricity regulation in the country that requires such a huge investment in computer technology in the wake of epileptic power supply.

NERC Chairman, Sanusi Garba, who appeared before lawmakers at the ongoing presentation of Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) by government agencies in Abuja, yesterday, said the commission required much more than that to make it more efficient.

The committee was also shocked upon revelation that NERC had budgeted over N650 million for prospective retirees in 2023.
The development irked the legislators, who sought the number of personnel projected to retire next year, which the chairman put at five.

“If the figure of possible retirees is just five as you have projected and yet, you have this huge amount for them, how do you roll it over yearly when the number falls short of the budget?” a lawmaker, Sada Soli, asked Garba.

But the NERC chairman could not provide a satisfactory answer, prompting the panel to give him more time to reconcile his figures and return another day.

He had told the legislators that his office projected N22.4 billion for 2023 with an operating surplus of N2.4 billion for the same year.

The lawmakers are, however, not happy with the operating surplus budget given the continued epileptic power supply being experienced by Nigerians daily

IN another development, the National Security Adviser (NSA) and service chiefs, yesterday, failed to appear before the Sha’aban Sharada-led House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence probing the recent attack on Kuje correctional facility.
 
The panel is mandated to identify the extent to which appropriate authorities within the national security sector have played their roles in responding to the incident and establish the extent of damage to the facility, including the exact number of escapees and casualties.

But at the resumption of the committee’s investigative hearing, which was at the instance of the service chiefs, the security heads, again, failed to appear before the lawmakers without formal notices.

The lower legislative chamber is concerned that the attack, which lasted for several hours, did not record any formidable resistance from the security personnel deployed to the facility, neither was there adequate response from the security agencies in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) despite the proximity of the Nigerian Air Force station to the scene of incident.

“This situation is, therefore, very disturbing, embarrassing and also raises serious concerns about the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire national security architecture, especially given the location of their headquarters in the FCT,” the chairman stated.
Sha’aban assured Nigerians that the committee would not spare anything in tracing the circumstances that led to the ugly incident.

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