OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has queried an alleged approval of payment of 2.7 billion Naira severance package to Board members of Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and mandated its Committee on Power to investigate the matter.
In a similar development, the senate has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to probe the administration of funds expended under the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) by its predecessor.
The resolve by the House emanated from a motion under matters of urgent public importance sponsored by Mr. Mohammed Gololo (Bauchi-APC) and was unanimously adopted at Wednesday’s plenary session.
Gololo said it is unconstitutional for NERC to approve the sum of 2.7 billion naira as severance package for its outgoing members because it was not authorized by the National Assembly in the 2015 Appropriation Act.
He also noted that the move conflicted with the recommendations of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and thus offends section 42 (1) (a) and (b) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act.
The Senate told the President to ensure that every kobo spent on SURE-P and other poverty alleviation programmes by the Goodluck Jonathan administration be accounted for. The move followed an additional prayer by Senator Babajide Omoworare (APC, Osun East) on a motion for the government to address the acute unemployment problem in the country brought by Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom).
The SURE-P was created in 2012 following the nationwide protests that greeted the cut in petroleum subsidy to mitigate the immediate impact of the partial petroleum subsidy removal on the population.