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Senate commences investigation over sales of NIPP

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Senate on Thursday commenced thorough probe into the sale of ten National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE).

The Senate on Thursday commenced thorough probe into the sale of ten National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) by the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE).

It was reliably gathered that the Federal Government had invested over $8.2 billion in the 10 power projects but later sold for $5.8 billion in 2014.

Decision to commence thorough investigation into sales of NIPP was a result of a motion sponsored by Sen. Mohammed Hassan who lamented about activities of Hydro International Nigeria Ltd. (Manitoba), a Canadian company managing the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

He said that the company was incorporated under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but frowned at the company’s insistence to be paid in dollars instead of Naira.

“It is a criminal offense stipulated in Section 20(5) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act, 2007 for any person or corporate body to refuse the acceptance of Naira as legal currency tender.

“We are worried that the TCN is imposed with this burden, under the management Services Contract, of paying all taxes for the Management contractors while Manitoba does not pay taxes on monies paid under the contract.

“Section 9(2) of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA) Cap 21, 2004 provides that tax must be shall be assessed and payable upon the profit of any company accruing in Nigeria.

“The Management Service Contract prepared by BPE for the management of TCN is fraught with apparent illegalities and total violation of the laws of Nigeria,” he said.

In his remark, the President of the Senate Bukola Saraki expressed displeasure at how a government agency would decide to wave $3billion, and sell the projects for $5 billion after an over $8 billion investment.

Saraki said, “The privatization of some of the companies must be properly investigated: you wonder: how does an agency, sitting somewhere, canon its own, write off over $3 billion without any referral to anybody.

“It is mind boggling: even if you are going to take a decision like that there must be some level of consultation and collective responsibility.

“We cannot be carrying out some of these investigations and not bring them to conclusion, we must bring them to conclusion and see that actions are taken.

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