The Senate Committee on Gas has issued a stern ultimatum to the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, giving him seven days to provide comprehensive details regarding the award and disbursement of over N100 billion allocated to companies involved in the handling of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) projects. This action follows allegations of breaching the Public Procurement Act 2017.
The committee’s demand arises from concerns over the impending release of an additional N130 billion to undisclosed companies by the Presidential CNG Initiative (PCNG), despite previous warnings from the Gas Committee. The committee had cautioned against spending taxpayer money on these gas infrastructure projects without proper National Assembly approval, deeming it as extra-budgetary expenditure and a violation of procurement laws.
Previously, the committee had praised President Bola Tinubu for the CNG initiatives but urged him to present a supplementary budget to cover such expenditures. However, a fresh petition from a group named “Good Governance and Transparency Front” accused the Steering Committee of the Presidential CNG Initiative of disbursing funds to associates without adhering to due process and the Public Procurement Act.
The group alleged that despite the N100 billion disbursement, the PCNG Initiative had made little progress due to its failure to involve gas development experts in project execution.
Chairman of the committee, Jarigbe Agom, demanded comprehensive records from the finance minister, including details of the award process, disbursement of funds, and a list of companies engaged in the project. The committee emphasized the importance of transparency and adherence to due process in ensuring public trust and accountability in such initiatives.
In a letter dated January 9th, addressed to the finance minister, the committee outlined its expectations regarding the utilization of the allocated funds and requested insights into the compliance of the processes with the Public Procurement Act 2007.