Senators reject 20 power projects in minister’s council

Members of the Senate Committee on Power on Wednesday opposed the alleged lopsidedness in the distribution of power projects by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).

The lawmakers accused the Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, of siting 20 mini-grid power projects in his local government area.

The Senators made the observation when the Managing Director of the REA, Ahmad Salijo, appeared before the Senate Committee on Power, chaired by Senator Gabriel Suswam, to defend the 2021 budget estimates of the agency.

They queried why only the minister’s local government will have a high number of projects when some other rural communities have none.

A member of the Committee, Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (Taraba Central), drew his colleagues’ attention to the lopsidedness in the distribution of the mini-grid power projects.

Yusuf said: “It is not just the N52million, but if you look at it (budget estimate items) from number 85, N30million, N20million, N40million and they are all concentrated in one local government.

“That is the minister’s local government area. Twenty projects are in Lau Local Government Area. I am not challenging him but I am sure.”

Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (Kebbi South) said such a development would amount to a breach of the Constitution if true.

He said: “He (minister) is not doing himself any good because he has sworn to do justice to all manner of people and not to allow his personal interests to affect his official conduct and decision.

“We will not sit down and sign this kind of document. We will be failing in our duties.”

The Committee Chairman, Senator Gabriel Suswam, directed REA Managing Director to correct the anomalies in the distribution of the mini-grid power projects and to reappear before the panel on Monday.

The Nation

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