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Power probe: Reps sing discordant tunes

Posted by From JAMES OJO and LAMBERT TYEM, Abuja on 2008/07/22 | Views: 1951 |

Power probe: Reps sing discordant tunes


The report of the House of Representatives Committee that probed the Power sector has run into troubled waters as two members of the Committee, Hon. Donald Egberibin and Hon. Ahmed Salik on Monday distanced themselves from the report.

The report of the House of Representatives Committee that probed the Power sector has run into troubled waters as two members of the Committee, Hon. Donald Egberibin and Hon. Ahmed Salik on Monday distanced themselves from the report.
Daily Sun gathered that the leadership of the House was not comfortable with the crisis that trailed the submission of the report and had tactically thrown the report back at the committee.

The submission of the report to the House in session was put off last week to prevent open confrontation between the chairman of the committee and members.

Addressing reporters yesterday at the guest house of the Niger Delta Development Commission in Maitama, Hon. Egberibin said the committee was yet to meet to adopt any report.
"Contrary to insinuations in certain quarters that a draft copy of the report had been submitted to the leadership of the House of Representatives, there was no report ready to be submitted.
Egberibin, the representatives of Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State, who was vocal during the public hearing insisted that the committee was yet to discuss the draft report of the technical committee.

"The committee as at today has not met to adopt the full report of the technical committee. We have not looked at the input from the technical committee made from the public hearing.
"It is after the committee has seen the clean copy of the technical committee, when we have looked at the recommendation page that you can talk of a report, not when we have not meet," he said.
Egberibin, sub-committee chairman on Public Accounts said it was unfair to shift any blame on the leadership of the House, who gave the committee every support to make the probe assignment easy for the committee.

"It is not fair to say that the leadership is trying to cripple the work of the committee. We received more than 100 per cent support from the leadership. We received recommendations on every contract awarded since 1999 to May 2007.

"But the truth is that members of the committee has not met to deliberate on the report, not to talk on adopting it, so I donít know why the news that the leadership was covering up the report," he insisted.
From the start of the committee work on the probe, Egberibin declared that parliamentary procedures had been followed to the letter, adding that until members take a decision on the clean copy from the technical committee, no report can be tabled before the House in session.
Another member of the committee, Hon. Ahmed Salik in a separate interview denied the existence of a report on the probe of the power sector.

"I want to say that there is nothing like a committee report on the probe of the power sector. If there is any, it is the chairmanís report and not committee report,"
According to him, the committee met on two occasions after the conclusion of the tour of project sites and that what was read to them by the chairman, and cannot be regarded as the work of the committee.
"It is true that the chairman called us to a meeting, the first one at Rockview Hotel and the following day at Sheraton Hotel.

"At the Rockview Hotel, he came with a copy and was about reading the contents to us, we protested that we should have a copy each and when he said he had no money to make photocopies because of the volumes, someone offered to foot the bill.
"We had to adjourned and the next meeting which was called through text messages ended without any agreement because members still had no copy, this was the last that I know about the probe thing," h e said.

As far as he was concerned, there was no report of the investigation into the $16 million spent on power sector by the Obasanjoís administration.
"The report of the committee should reflect the collective views of members, it should not be the opinion of the chairman alone, this is when the report would have acceptability, credibility and honour," Hon Salik noted.

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