NBET: No N7.68bn Insertion in Our Budget
Posted: 21/Jul/2021

The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc has maintained that it did not insert projects outside its area of operations in the 2021 budget of the organisation that was passed in December.

Some reports, quoting insider sources, had alleged that NBET was allocated N7.68 billion and had a proposal approved to provide 500KVA transformers for some selected communities in various states at the cost of N150 million as well as the supply and installation of transformers in selected areas of Gombe for N100 million and N50 million for different locations in Kano State.

In addition, the report listed the electrification of Gudus, Nyalun, Kunkyam, Yuli and other selected communities in Plateau State to the tune of N300 million, outside NBET’s mandate, as other projects surreptitiously inserted into the document.
 
When asked to respond to the insinuations, Head, Corporate Communication, NBET, Henrietta Ighomrore, explained that the organisation never added any item in the budget beyond those that were critical to its operations.

She insisted that one of the reports by an online medium that NBET scrambled to remove certain suspicious items from the document after it was uncovered could not be farther from the truth, saying it was impossible for NBET to alter an appropriation law, which is an Act of Parliament, singlehandedly.

She emphasised that although there may be different versions of the document it presented before the National Assembly flying online, the authentic and duly signed appropriation law did not contain any N7.68 billion.

She said: “There is no N7.6 billion in the NBET budget anywhere. This budget was passed in January 2021, so saying that somebody went and changed or removed anything in July is only fictional and it’s not possible.

“It’s not possible to get a passed budget and be removing and adding. The point of attraction and the sensationalism is centred around the N7.6 billion and it does not exist anywhere.

“How can we be asking for transformers and what exactly should we be asking for transformers for? We did not ask for any and that’s what I am trying to explain.”

She argued that in any case, the authorities have the powers to review any budget submitted to it, explaining that it wasn’t within the purview of the NBET to reject a budget passed by the national assembly and assented to by the president.

NBET also stressed that the insinuation that it went into a meeting to try and change the figures after it was passed, cannot be true, adding that what the organisation had was a strategy retreat which was facilitated by a renowned international accounting firm and supported by a United States agency to address the problems in the power sector in the country.