OrderPaperToday – The Senate has launched a probe into alleged fraud of N2 billion involving the Zungeru power project and a deposit money bank, Aso Savings and Loans Plc.
The Senate Public Account Committee (PAC) raised the alert based on a query issued by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation in its 2015 audit report.
The office thereafter presented the report for probe by the Senate.
The said amount is said to be domiciled in Aso Savings and Loans PLC since 2015 with Account number–0013465399 and implemented by the Ministry of Power.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo), decried the lack of transparency in the disbursement of funds as highlighted in the report.
An excerpt from the report of the office of OAuGf reads: “The examination of various bank statements belonging to the Ministry of Power revealed that the sum of N2 billion was deposited into a savings and loans account since December 2013.
“The Ministry should provide the backing document to enable me to carry out proper audit checks on the operation of this account, particularly, the interest accrued on the deposit.”
Responding then, the Ministry of Power stated that on the 20th of December 2012, it requested from the Accountant General of the Federation to open an account which was approved on the 14th of January, 2013.
Then, it collected about N1.6 billion from the Bank remaining a balance of N478 million in the bank for alleged payments to M/S Alagbe – N11 million, Ministry of Lands and Housing Niger state – N378.8 million, and Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS)- N88 million.
In his remarks, Urhoghide demanded the bank statement and how much the Ministry made from the transaction on the Zungeru project.
The National Assembly has undertaken several probes of the power sector with not much to show for it.