Senate summons Adeosun, others over alleged diversion of $600m foreign loan

Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 16 February 2018 | 2,212 times

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•Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts headed by Senator Mathew Urhoghide has summoned the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, over the alleged diversion of $600 million loan foreign loan meant to revive the power sector.

The Committee said on Thursday that the Minister needed to explain why the loan was assessed and diverted for the remodelling of four airports across the country.

According to the committee, the said $600 million Euro bond from the Chinese government  was meant for the rehabilitation of the power sector but has been diverted as $100 million of the said sum was used as counterpart funding for the remodeling of the Airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.

The Senator Matthew Urhoghide-led Committee, which is jointly investigating the loan in conjunction with Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy Committee headed by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has also summoned the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and the Director- General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Mrs Patience Oniha.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari, who appeared before the Joint Committee on Thursday was also asked to join the other stakeholders next week Thursday to provide explanations as to the reason behind the movement of the loan from Power Sector.

The Committee said that it was concerned about the desirability of the movement of.the Loan.

Senator Urhoghide had said: “We need to establish the desirability of the loan, it was for power sector, to develop the sector, it was for the Nigerian Electricity Bulk Trading Company (NBET), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), among others. Aviation was not in the picture, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was used as secure the loan. Aviation did not apply for it, not in the list of agencies to benefit. There was no Presidential approval, Aviation was not listed as a beneficiary.”

The Senate Joint Committee had questioned the Ministry of Transportation to provide any letter requesting the Ministry of Finance process part of the $600 million loan for use of Aviation Sector.

The Senate was also interested in knowing whether the transfer of part of the loan has the blessing of the National Assembly.

The Permanent Secretary told the Joint Committee on Thursday that the vital information required by the Senate would be available next week.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari, who appeared before the lawmakers said that the said that the $100 million was a loan to the Ministry and would be repaid.

Source: News Express

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