By ABAH ADAH, Abuja
The minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has debunked a statement that emanated from the Senate recently alleging that an amount in the region of $350million being part of a $1billion Eurobond facility taken in 2013 has gone missing or has been diverted under his ministry.
According to a press release from the office, the minister also declared as false a related allegation that the Ministry had procured a contract for Afam Fast Power and paid $26million or thereabout for it.
“With all emphasis, I state that there is no factual basis for the allegations,” he said.
Having said that the Ministry, his staff and himself have done nothing wrong, Fashola expressed their readiness to collaborate fully with the Investigating Committee when called upon.
“For now, it suffices for members of the public to note that I wasn’t a Minister in 2013, and that when Government raises a Debt like the Eurobond, it is the Debt Management Office that manages the Debt and not the Ministry,” he stated.
According to Fashola, the statement issued by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) on the 6th of November, 2017 on the Front Page of one of the National Dailies, explaining that the money was not missing and that the $350 million had been invested of which the interest had even accrued on the money should have been enough clarification to forestall the presentation of the motion if the allegations were not borne out of an ulterior motive.
He also noted that the story seemed to have changed from “missing money” last week, to a “desperate attempt to retrieve the money “ now.
As for the Afam Fast Power, the Minister explained that “the sum and substance of it is that , it was an investment by the General Electric, a globally reputed Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), to invest in the country and support our effort to get good quick power under our Roadmap of Incremental, Steady and Uninterrupted power.
“They offered to do this by providing Nigeria with mobile turbines of 600MW if we could find a location with Gas and Transmission evacuation infrastructure. The Afam Power Station fitted because it had transmission and evacuation facilities but all its turbines had been virtually run down.
“The investment was contingent on paying $27,990,000 million which was 15% of 8 (eight) units of 30MW turbines each totaling 240MW valued at about $186,600,000:00.