The Deputy Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said that the Senate will not hesitate to investigate the implementation of the N161bn supplementary budget approved for the executive a few weeks ago for fuel subsidy payments.
Ngige, who addressed a news conference in Awka on Friday, said that in view of the scarcity of fuel and hike in the price of the commodity during the Christmas holidays in many parts of the country, it was imperative that the executive should be asked to explain how it spent the supplementary budget it prevailed on the National Assembly to approve.
The senator said the National Assembly was apparently blackmailed into passing the supplementary appropriation bill, because had they failed to pass it as presented by the executive, the legislature would have been blamed for the scarcity and high cost of petrol during Christmas.
Ngige said that in line with Section 80 of the Constitution, the Federal Government must present for approval its funding of the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme fund programme. â€œAnything otherwise is illegal funding,â€ he said.
The senator said Section 80 of the Constitution made it mandatory for the National Assembly to approve any fund accruing to the FG.
Ngige commended the improvement in power generation in the country, which he said stood at 4,700 megawatts today. But he said the existing transmission lines had become too weak to carry the generated power to the distribution points.
â€œThe lines are too old and decayed and cannot carry 5,000 megawatts. We are ensuring that the capital projects are not abandoned. And we have made a case for the unexecuted capital projects of 2012 to be rolled over to at least April 2013 so that the money voted for them does not lapse,â€ he said.