Reps grill MDAs over $4,055bn, €710m, $125m grants

The House of Representatives on Thursday commenced the scrutiny of the details of the $4,054,476,863, €710 million and $125 million grant component of the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan as requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In his remarks, Chairman, House Committee on Loans, Aids and Debt Management, Hon. Safana Dayyabu explained that the meeting was conveyed to “consider the outstanding projects under the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan of the Federal Government as contained in Mr. President’s Communication to the House of Representatives together with the recent Addendum received from the President wherein additional projects were added to the previous outstanding ones whilst additional financing is being requested in respect of some others.”

According to him, the “2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan contains a request of $36,837,281,256 plus €910 million and $10 million Grant Component.

“The House of Representatives in July 2021 approved financing for projects to the tune of $8,325,526,537 and €490 million out of the total request leaving an outstanding $28,511,754,719 awaiting consideration by this Committee.

“Furthermore, on the 15th of September 2021, the Speaker of the House of Representatives read a communication from Mr. President, Containing an addendum to the 2018-2020 External Borrowing (Rolling) Plan in the sum of $4,054,476,863, €710 million and Grant Component of $125 million for various projects and same has been forwarded to this Committee.

“It is our tradition here, that all the various implementing MDA’s provide detailed clarification and necessary information related to the utilisation of the proposed borrowed funds, in order to assist the National Assembly in concluding its deliberations on the request.”

According to TCN acting Managing Director, Engr. S. A Abduaziz, $210 million African Development Bank loan is for Nigerian Electricity Transmission & Access Projects $200 million Japan International Cooperation Agency loan is for Lagos-Ogun Power Transmission project; $200 million French Development Agency loan is for TCN overall
transmission system enhancement project (Northern corridor); $4.800 billion China Exim Bank is for Mambilla Hydro electricity power project and $50 million French Development Agency loan is for Vocational Training in the power sector.

He added that TCN will implement the National Transmission Expansion Project (NTEP-1) worth $252.56 million which will be financed through the $210 million AfDB loan and counterpart funding of $42.56 million by Federal Government.

The TCN helmsman added that the contract is expected to increase electricity generation from 8,100MW to 12,000MW t the end of the project.

He however noted that the Agency has only received the $364 million World Bank loan while others are yet to be accessed.

While responding to question on the alleged plan to concession TCN, Engr. Abdulaziz who dismissed the report, argued that he has not receive any communication to that effect.

The lawmakers observed that out of the $5.614 billion loan, the sum of $376.944 million had earlier been approved for ongoing Nigeria Electricity Transmission and Access Project funding which included: $352.607 million for goods ad services and $24.336 million for consultancy.

During the hearing, the lawmakers who expressed concerns over the huge amount proposed for consultancy, demanded for details of the consultancy fees to be paid to the consultants and profile as well as other supportive documents, including insurance premium.

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