OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives expressed serious reservations over the absence of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, at its investigative hearing on the country’s power crisis.
The ad-hoc committee conducting the hearing was particularly angry with the constant power failure that often disrupt legislative activities and other business in the country.
It also asked the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to ensure the timely completion of the 7000 megawatt electricity project the federal government has entered into with Siemens, a German company.
Chairman of the committee, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa (APC, Kano) gave these directives on the second day of the investigative public hearing on the activities of the Nigerian power sector.
Ado-Doguwa said the CBN Governor and the Accountant General of the Federation have undermined the powers of the House to investigate public officials by failing to honour their invitation to appear at the probe panel’s 2-day public hearing.
The House Leader expressed surprise that the CBN Governor and the Accountant-General failed to honour the invitation of the Committee and could not even send an apology nor provide documents for the investigative panel.
“I am surprised that the CBN Governor is not here and cannot send communications why he cannot be here. The same thing is with the Accountant-General. The CBN did not even send any written document to us. I think it is sheer disregard for the institution of the legislature. This is an investigative hearing riding on the powers of the legislature under the 1999 Constitution.
“Here we are talking of loans, debts and interventions and the two government agencies responsible are not here. I am made to understand the Accountant-General has made submission but that is a different thing from making appearance.”
While ruling on the matter, the Committee chairman said it could not condone the attitude displayed by both agencies and therefore, directed the Committee Secretariat to write again to the CBN Governor and the AGF to appear unfailingly before the Committee or face dire consequences.
The lawmakers lamented that the privatization of the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has not adequately addressed the challenges of power in Nigeria.
The BPE DG, Okoh while responding assured that substantial progress is being made in the Federal Government and Siemens deal on power, disclosing that the completion of the project is targeted for December 2021.