By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-House of Representatives yesterday resolved to set up an adhoc committee to investigate the activities of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for the past 10 years.
Essentially, the investigation bothered on foreign loans of $1.5b and contract processes of $500m awarded by the company.
The decision was sequel to a motion titled “Need to Investigate the Violations of the Constitution, the Fiscal Responsibility and Public Procurement Acts by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Over Foreign Loans of $1.5b and $500m for its Operations and Contract Processes”, sponsored Hon. Simon Y. Arabo.
Moving the motion, Arabo reminded the House that due process was not followed in the procurement of the facilities, adding that the loans were utilized without the appropriation of the National Assembly contrary to Sections 80-83 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
He said: “The House notes that the privatization of the Power Sector under section 8 of the Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 gave birth to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) as one of the successor companies in the Sector.
“Also notes that under section 9 of the Act, the TCN is wholly owned by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MFI) and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) which hold the shares on its behalf.
“Aware that the TCN has taken loans amounting to $1.5B from the World Bank and other International Lenders over a period of time without complying with the provisions of section 44 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act;
lso aware that the loans were utilized without the appropriation of the National Assembly contrary to Sections 80-83 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999;
“Further aware that TCN is currently negotiating another loan of $500M with Islamic Development Bank and has been violating the provisions of the Public Procurement Act in contract procedures as its contract processes are opaque”
The committee whose members were yet to be made known as at the time of filing this report was given 8 weeks within which to report back to the House for further legislative action.