Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Senate gives Customs 7 days to recoverauctioned $3 billion NIPP equipment

ABUJA – THE Senate Committee on
Power yesterday ordered the immediate
retrieval of all the 17 containers belonging
to the National Integrated Power Project
(NIPP) and the Power Holding
Company of Nigeria (PHCN) said to
have been auctioned by the Nigerian
Customs Service,NCS
The Committee also gave the Comptroller
General, Nigeria Custom Services, Alhaji
Ahmed Dikko Nigeria Customs Service
seven days to return the equipment worth
$3 billion the NIPP admitted it sold to a
private company.
Giving the order yesterday at a meeting
with officials of the Nigerian customs,
Ministry of Power and other government
agencies in the power sector, Chairman
Senate Committee on Power, Senator
Philip Tanimu Aduda, PDP, FCT
however expressed anger
over the refusal of the Minister of
Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to
honour the summon of the Committee,
warning that she must appear to explain
why the containers stayed in the Ports for
three years until they were sold in 2009.
Chairman and members of Senate
Committee on Power, said they were
prepared to jail those involved in the
scandal if they failed to return them to
the federal government.
The senate also ruled yesterday that the
suspension of some officers in connection
with the deal and the setting up of a
committee by Vice President Namadi
Sambo to probe the transaction was not
enough, just as the lawmakers argued that
there might be no evidence at the end of
the day that such officials were
The Committee also directed the Nigerian
Customs Service and the NIPP Managing
Director, Mr James Olotu who presented
two different documents bearing separate
names and addresses of the buyer, to
reconcile the name and the address of the
buyer, adding that “in the light of the
development the Customs and the NIPP
should reconcile among themselves the two
names that appeared on their papers.”

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