The Senate on Wednesday condemned the proposed citing of 20 projects in Lau Local Government Area of Taraba State where the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, hails from.
The Senate Committee on Power expressed the dissatisfaction while scrutinising the 2021 budget proposals of the Rural Electrification Agency.
Members of the panel identified 20 rural electrification projects of various sums, ranging between N20m to N52m in the 2021 budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly.
They expressed dismay that the record indicated that only one of the electrification projects for 2021 in the entire South-South geopolitical zone was proposed to be cited in Delta State.
The Managing Director of the REA, Ahmad Salijo, presented and defended the budget before the Senate Committee on Power, which has Senator Gabriel Suswam, as chairman.
The senators identified uniform allocation of N52m for various projects across the geopolitical zones and faulted the essence of executing less than 2 kilometres ones for over five years.
Trouble started when a member of the panel from Taraba State, Senator Yusuf Yusuf, drew the attention of his colleagues to the lopsidedness in the distribution of the projects.
He specifically said the budget proposal was fraught with uneven distribution of mini-grid power projects for rural communities, alleging that many of them were concentrated in the minister’s LGA.
Yusuf said, “It is not just the N52m but if you look at from number 85, N30m, N20m, N40m and they are all concentrated in one Local Government Area.
“That is the minister’s LGA. Twenty projects are in Lau Local Government Area. I am not challenging him but I am sure.”
Another member of the committee, Senator Bala Ibn Na’ Allah accused the minister of allegedly violating his oath of office if he approved the citing of the projects in his LGA.