Reps begins probe of $22bn NNPC’s Brass Liquefied Natural Gas project
NEWS DIGEST -The House of Representatives, on Thursday, resolved to set an ad hoc committee to investigate the expenditure and implementation of the $22 billion Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project.
This followed a motion by Rep Chinda Ogundu (Rivers-PDP) at the plenary on the urgent need to investigate the implementation of the project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Brass LNG Project was originally set up in 2003 with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owning 49%, while other affiliates namely, Conoco Phillips, ENI, and Chevron hold 17% each.
Moving the motion, Ogundu said the House noted that there had been several allegations of abuse and mismanagement of funds totaling about $22 billion meant for take-off and running of the project.
“We are also aware that the project has been stuck in the planning stage for more than a decade, with some Western partners having pulled out because of tough operating conditions and unfavourable investment environment.
“We are cognisant that the Federal Government’s investment in the Brass LNG project is too enormous to be treated with kid gloves, swept under the carpet or simply put aside with a wave of the hand,” he said.
The lawmaker added: “With the provisions of Section 88(l)(a), (b)(i)&(ii) and (2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which confers each chamber of the National Assembly power to conduct or carry out investigations into matter(s) such as this.
“The Senate in January 2018, raised an alarm over massive fraud in the NNPC as it relates to the Brass LNG project and voted to investigate same, but nothing happened thereafter.”
He said if the matter is not investigated, the essence of the fight against corruption would be defeated and the Nigerian economy and indeed teeming Nigerian masses would be worse for it.
Ogundu, therefore urged the House to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the matter for posterity sake.
When the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara, put the motion on voice vote, majority of the lawmakers, across party lines, voted in favour.