House of Reps committee frowns at TCN’s expenditures, vows to hold special probe

House of Reps committee frowns at TCN’s expenditures, vows to hold special probe

By EricJames Ochigbo, Abuja.


The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has resolved to hold a special hearing on 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)


The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Abdullahi Saidu (APC-Niger), at Monday’s hearing in Abuja, said that the special session was to enable the Managing Director of TCN, Dr Sule Abdulaziz, to appear in person.


The committee had earlier announced that the ongoing hearing on MTEF/FSP would end on Thursday, Sept. 15.


The Director of Finance, TCN, Mr Ahmed Dutse, earlier told the committee that the managing director lost his mother and took part of his annual leave to mourn her, adding that he would resume after 10 days.


Saidu said that the documents submitted by the TCN were in disarray and that the committee was having difficulties in putting them together.


He stressed that there were repetitions of expenditures, with different figures, in the documents submitted to the committee by TCN.


“I am seeing some confusion here: transport and travelling expenses, N394 million, on the first page and then, you also have transport and travelling expenses, N2.6 billion, on the second page.


“I can now understand why you said you are underfunded; with this kind of bonanza going on in TCN, no matter how much we give you, you would not be adequately funded,’’ he said.


Rep. John Dyeh (PDP-Benue) observed that TCN expended almost N500 million on electricity charges alone.


He said that it appeared the company wanted to spend all funds it generated, thereby leaving nothing to remit into government coffers.


The lawmaker said that oil was running out, while oil revenue was now less than N3 trillion naira, and the rest of the income was generated from tax.


“If you are spending money like this, how do we get money to fund the budget when you make little money and spend it like this? And we are borrowing N11 trillion to fund the budget,’’ he said.


Earlier, Dutse told the committee that the TCN was poorly funded and paucity of funds as affecting its operations, saying that in 2020, N130 billion was budgeted but only N7 billion was released.


He said that in 2021, N105 billion was budgeted but only N6 billion was released, while in 2022, N168 billion was budgeted but only N6 billion was released.


Dutse said that the company had been surviving on its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

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