Reps probe abandoned $38.7m NNPC-NAOC power project

The House of Representatives has unveiled plans to investigate the abandoned $38.7 million Phase 2 of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – Nigerian Agip Oil Company joint venture Okpai independence power plant project.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by a lawmaker, Nnamdi Ezechi, who called for the intervention of federal lawmakers.

In his lead debate, Ezechi observed that the Okpai Independent Power Plant project, a joint venture between NAOC and the Federal Government, received approval from the National Electricity Regulatory Commission for the construction of Phase 2.

Ezechi said, “The House also notes that despite the substantial investment of $38.7m, and the commencement of Phase II construction in November 2017, the project ended up being abandoned, resulting in the dilapidation of the critical federal infrastructure.

“The House is aware that the Phase II project has reached approximately 90 per cent completion prior to its abandonment by contractors – Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Oil Company.

“The House further notes that the project site is in a grave state of decay, with billions of dollars worth of equipment and turbines unused, covered by grass, and taken over by shrubs.

“The House is concerned that the abandonment of the Phase II project jeopardises significant investments and furthermore hampers an increase in electricity generation for the nation.”

The lawmaker added that the “House is also concerned that there is ambiguity surrounding the project’s contract amount, casting doubt on accountability and transparency in its execution.

“The House recognises the fact that the NAOC and Saipem Contracting Nigeria SCNL were involved in the award and execution of the project.

“The House is disturbed about the lack of advancement of the project and the need for government action to preserve this essential national resource,” he noted.

Consequently, the House mandated its Committee on Power to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the funding and contractors, which includes NAOC and SCNL, and ascertain the impediments leading to the abandonment of the project, and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

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