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Reps uncover N7bn illegal spending on Kashimbila Power Project by ministry

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House of Reps

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts Monday unearthed the sum of N7 billion, said to have been spent by the Power Ministry on the Kashimbila Power Project without appropriation.

It similarly alleged that the ministry kept government money in commercial banks in 2015 without authorisation.

The committee has requested the ministry to provide explanation on the N2 billion deposited in a commercial bank in 2013 without any record of the transaction supplied to the office of the auditor-general.

Esther Wilson-Jack, Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Power, said the N7 billion was intended for the Kashimbila Hydropower Project and was given to the ministry as special intervention.

Wilson-Jack said the fund was deposited in four commercial banks in 2015, noting that it was a special intervention fund from the Nigerian government even though the money was not part of the ministry’s budget for 2015.

Read also: Nigeria not obliged to pay $1.2bn fine for contract breach on Azura-Edo power project – Presidency

According to her, the ministry obtained the nod of the accountant-general of the federation to keep the money in four bank accounts.

It was transferred from the banks to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the ministry following the introduction of the TSA, Mrs Wilson-Jack said.

Wole Oke, Chairman of the committee, stated that the expenditure was extra-budgetary while the legislators demanded details of the project as well as how the fund was spent.

The committee summoned Aso Savings and Loans over the N2 billion it received as a deposit from the ministry since 2013, which it said was planned for staff housing scheme.

Mrs Wilskon-Jack informed the lower legislative chamber that the ministry was making moves to recover the money from the bank, adding that it had reported Aso Savings and Loans to the central bank over an alleged breach of banking regulations.

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