The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved additional N2.74 billion as compensation and settlements for communities affected by the 700 megawatts Zungeru Hydro-electric Power Project in Niger state.
This was disclosed yesterday by the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, who briefed newsmen after the weekly virtual Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
According to him, with the new approval, the total sum set aside for the compensation and resettlement of the people has been jerked up from the initial N19,640,000,000 to N22,380,000,000.
Responding to question on the fluctuations of power supply in recent times, the minister explained that inconsistent supply of gas to the generation companies was responsible.
He said the initial generation target of 5000 mega watts government promised to deliver by July 1st could not be met because of gas shortage.
The minister added that the drop in electricity generation may also be due to faulty generators.
Minister of Niger Delta, Umana Umana, in his brief, disclosed that the Council okayed the sum of N765,974,975.50 as additional costs of carrying out the Forensic Audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
According to him, the intial contract which covered the lead consultants and the field forensic auditors was N1.786 billion.
“These auditors have since concluded their work but in the course of carrying out this work, it was discovered that they had to deal with many more projects than were initially envisaged. And the excercise also took an additional seven months.
“The total number of additional projects considered by the auditors was 3,773. So for reasons of the additional number of projects and the additional time taken, Council today approved a revised additional sum of N765,974,975.50 to cover the additional works done by the forensic auditors,” he explained.
Asked why the President was delaying the appointment of a board for the NDDC, Umana said he was anxious to have the board to oversee the affairs of the agency.
According to him, the President had already forwarded the names of the appointees to the Senate but there were litigations on whether doing so was consistent with the extant laws or not.
Umana said that even though the report of the Forensic Audit had already been submitted to the President, Buhari would not constitute the NDDC Baord until a white paper was generated and acted upon.
“Usually when governments Institutes an inquiry, the findings will go back to the Federal Executive Council and a white paper will be issued. The white paper is then the decisions of the federal government on the findings of the forensic audit.
“Of course, with the white paper released, those who committed infractions will be called to account and whatever government has to do, governments will then proceed to do so. And I can very conveniently say that the constitution of the board will follow immediately thereafter. Nobody is trying to stall the constitution of the board. Nobody,” he explained.
On what the government was doing to address the rising cost of living, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, said inflation was a global challenge.
He added that government’s fiscal and monetary measures to curb rising cost of living in the country could better be explained by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.