Senate committee raises alarm over plot to blackmail lawmakers

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By Okechukwu Jombo

The Senate Committee on Gas has raised the alarm over alleged desperate plot by some operators of the Presidential Committee on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to blackmail and intimidate the committee to abandoned its inquiry into the controversial award and disbursement of over N 100 billion of government gas development fund.

The committee in a swift reaction today however pledged harmonious working relationship with the minister of Finance Mr Yemi Edu and PCNG in order to actualize the noble agenda of president Bola Tinubu of developing the nations gas sector as alternative source of energy

The committee in a statement made available to journalists also dismissed as laughable an online media report which quoted the chairman of the committee Distinguished Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe as saying he will bring down the PCNG implementation committee and will not ask them for money.

According to the committee the chairman in said letter to the minister of Finance Mr Yemi Edu dated January 9 never mentioned or threatened to run the PCNG down for whatever reason.

“There was no threat contained in the Committee,s letter to the Minister. It was an official letter and properly worded with respect to the Office to the Office and person of the Minister.
The reported threat to pull down the PCNG was therefore another joke taken too far by the online media and what it represent in this instance .

We would have ignored this report but we need to put record straight here and for the avoidance of doubt , ” there was no such threat in the said letter to the minister by the Committee.

The false report is therefore part of the desperate plot by those who are not comfortable with our inquiry into the handling of the N100billion gas project fund.

We as a committee therefore cannot be blackmailed or intimidated to abandon of constitutional responsibility and the the committee stil stands by its seven day ultimatum given to the minister to furnish details of the disbursement of the fund which was in gross violation of the public procurement Act if 2007.

The Senate is saddled with the responsibility of oversights and we will be failing in our duties if we are indifferent to how Agencies of Government spend the funds released for various Projects.

The committee insists that it amount to breach of the procurement Act for the PCNG to go ahead with the disbursement without the approval if the National Assembly .The President has good intentions and we cannot allow his intentions to be frustrated. Nigerians are in pain and we want results.

The committee had in a letter to the minister asked the coordinating minister of economy to furnish it with details of the award and disbursement of over N 100billion CNG fund