The budget defence of the Senate Committee on Power and Rural Electrification Agency (PREA) reached a standstill on Wednesday as the Committee exposed the Minister of Power, Alhaji Mamma Saleh, as being biased in the discharge of his ministerial duties.
The budget proposals of the Rural Electrification Agency were not satisfactory to the committee as they insisted that it would not be approved especially as regards the notice that the whole South-South geopolitical zone has only one power project to be constructed in 2021.
Ahmad Salijo, the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency, spoke on the 2020 budget performance while he sought Senate’s approval of 2021 budget proposals.
In the proceedings, Senator Yusuf Yusuf called to the notice of his colleagues the imbalances in the area of project distribution. He also disclosed that the proposal shouldn’t be approved.
Yusuf, who is a representative of Taraba Central Senatorial district, asserted that the imbalances revealed that the mini-grid projects were all concentrated in the Minister of Power local government in Taraba State.
Following this revealation, Senator Bala Ibn’Nallah, a member of the Committee, accused the Minister of Power of violating his oath of office. He further stated that the Minister made the President seem bias with his concentration on one geopolitical zone.
He said: ‘Those who elected us to these offices expected us to ensure that the constitution which they have made for themselves and given to us will be executed to the letter.
‘The President wants to be the president of every citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
‘Therefore, he would want loyalty and cooperation from every citizen of the country. If we sit down here and agree that a budget that pleases a minister, can come, the Minister is not doing himself good because he has sworn to do justice to all manner of the people and not to allow his personal interest to affect his official conduct and decision.’
‘He has by this clearly shown that he has allowed his personal interest to affect his official conduct and decision, and that is a very serious matter.
‘Governance is a very serious issue. I think you (MD) must take this observation seriously and convey it to the minister. Tell him that the committee is not in agreement with him.’
Senator Gabriel Suswam, the Chairman of the Committee, after stating his decision adjourned till next week Monday.
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