The Senate Committee on Power yesterday accused the Minister of Power, Mr. Mamman Saleh, of uneven distribution of mini-grid power projects for rural communities.
Saleh was accused by the committee of proposing to locate 20 of such projects in Lau Local Government Area of Taraba State where he hails from.
Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency, Mr. Ahmad Salijo, who appeared before the committee to defend the agency’s 2021 budget estimate, was asked by the committee to go back to the minister to make him aware draw his attention to the uneven distribution of the projects and rectify the error.
Senator Bala Ibn Na’ Allah, a member of the committee stated that the minister by his action violated the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“Those who elected us to this office expected us to ensure that the constitution, which they have made for themselves and given to us, will be executed to the letter. The president wants to be the president of every citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “Therefore, he would want loyalty and co-operation from every citizen of the country.
“If we sit down here and agree that a budget that pleases a minister can come, he (minister) is not doing himself good because he has sworn to do justice to all manner of the people and not to allow his personal interest to affect his official conduct and decision. He has by this clearly shown that he has allowed his personal interest to affect his official conduct and decision, and that is a very serious matter.
“Governance is a very serious issue. I think you (MD) must take this observation serious and convey it to the minister. Tell him that the committee is not in agreement with him.
“We will not sit down and sign this kind of document. We will be failing in our duties; we will be failing in the oath of office we have taken to hold and protect the constitution, if we allow this to go unchallenged.
“Please let him know, there is no sentiment on this matter. Let us all try as much as we can to operate within the elements of our constitution,” Na’Allah said.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Gabriel Suswan, consequently asked the management of the agency to correct the errors and ensure even distribution of the projects before next Monday.