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Nigeria Law Makers Probes TCN’s $1.5bn, $500m Foreign Loans

The House of Representatives has queried loans totalling $1. 5bn taken from foreign creditors by the Transmission Company of Nigeria .
This is in spite of a separate $500m loan, which the power firm is already negotiating with the Islamic Development Bank .
The House resolved on Wednesday to investigate the operations of the TCN in the past 10 years , especially the loans, which it said were taken without applying due process of the law .The motion calling for the probe was moved by a member from Kaduna State , Mr . Simon Arabo .
The motion stated , “ The House notes that the TCN is wholly owned by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Finance Incorporated and the Bureau of Public Procurement , which hold the shares on its behalf .
“( The House is) aware that the TCN has taken loans amounting to $1. 5bn from the World Bank and other international lenders over a period of time without complying with the provisions of Section 44 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act ( 2007) .
“ It is also aware that the loans were utilised without the appropriation of the National Assembly, contrary to Sections 80-83 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , 1999.
“ Further aware that the TCN is currently negotiating another loan of $500m with Islamic Development Bank and has been violating the provisions of the Public Procurement Act in contract procedures as its contract processes are opaque. ”
The House directed its Committees on Power , Public Procurement and Aids /Loans/Debt Management to conduct the investigation on the matter within eight weeks.
The session, which was presided over by the Speaker , Mr . Yakubu Dogara, passed another resolution , seeking the payment of N 1. 8bn to poultry farmers in the country for the loss of their birds to Avian Influnza last year .
The motion was moved by the Chairman , House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr . Abdulrazak Namdas .
He recalled that in 2016, during an outbreak of the disease , farmers lost over 3. 6 million birds .
Namdas added that following an investigation by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and a meeting between the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and the farmers , a compensation of N 1. 8bn was recommended.
However, the lawmaker told his colleagues that till date , the money had not been released to the 450 affected farmers .
“ Till date , none of the farmers screened for the payment has received money . These farmers and their employees depend largely on the poultry for their livelihood, ” he said .
The House endorsed the motion and asked the Committee on Agricultural Production Service to look into the matter with a view to getting the funds released to the farmers .

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