By G9ija

For lack of convincing explanation, the Senate Committee on Public Accounts (SPAC) has ordered the management of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) to refund N986 million spent out of the N1.5 billion transferred from its trading account for personnel and overhead.

It also asked the agency to return N47.447 million paid as “illegal allowances.”x

The panel said the directives should be carried out ahead of next Tuesday’s sitting.

The Senator Matthew Urhoghide-led committee had summoned NBET’s Managing Director, Nnaemeka Ewelukwa, to clarify some expenditure following a query from the office of the Auditor General (OAuGF) on the 2015 expenses of the organisation.

The OAuGF had written that NBET allegedly breached statutory demands and transferred N1.5 billion from its trading account to its personnel and overhead accounts.

The panel also gave the chief executive till that day to furnish it with more details.

Ewelukwa had told the lawmakers that his organisation had a ministerial waiver to access the account and made the N1.5 billion transfer.

But he was quickly cut short by the committee members who reminded him that it was only the President that can grant such concession based on extant law.

Urhoghide told the NBET management that their claim was “clear admittance of wrongdoing.”

Senator Yusuf Yusuf (Taraba Central) said the minister at the time was “clever by half.”x

The OAuGF had also queried the illegal bonuses awarded to board members.

IN a related development, the House of Representatives Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), yesterday, debunked reports that the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, OSSAP-SDGs was queried over the alleged award of N26.9 billion COVID-19-related procurements.

The legislators insisted that no such money was appropriated by the National Assembly for the procurement of materials following the outbreak of the pandemic.

The committee, chaired Rotimi Agunsoye (Badagry Federal Constituency), said there was no basis for querying OSSAP-SDGs or Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire over any irregularities.