President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the Senate would investigate the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) over alleged non-remittance of N800 billion to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) for the maintenance of roads across the country.
Senator Lawan stated this on Wednesday while speaking on a bill for an Act to Repeal the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency Act, 2002 and to Establish the Federal Roads Authority Bill, 2019.
The Bill sponsored by Senator Henry Basset, representing Cross Rivers South passed second reading yesterday.
Recall that the Red Chamber on Tuesday made similar vow to investigate the non-remittance of over N20 trillion into the Federation Account by Central Bank of Nigeria.
The amount according to the Senate was collected as stamp duties from Banks and Financial Institutions in the country.
The President of the Senate in his contribution on a bill for an Act to Repeal the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency Act, 2002 and to Establish the Federal Roads Authority Bill, 2019, lamented that previous efforts by Nigeria to concession government enterprise failed as a result of systemic corruption.
To mitigate corruption in the provision of certain social infrastructures, the President of the Senate called for Public-Private – Partnership in the construction of roads across the country.
He said: ”Corruption is also responsible for some of the challenges we face in our road sector.
“We recall that the privatization of various enterprises was made right from 1986 till date, and in most cases the privatization or concessioning processes were flawed and of course, we suffer as a country.
“So, we just have to be very careful. We insist we go on the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) partnership, but we have to ensure that everything is done within the law as required so that no one takes advantage of his position in government to shortchange the entire people of the country.
“I believe that we need to demand what happened to over N800 billion that PPPRA was alleged to have collected.
“I think that we will take that as a separate issue because we need to verify and confirm, even for the sake of allowing PPPRA to defend itself because this is not something that we can sweep under the carpet. N800 billion can do a lot of things for our country,” Lawan said.
Senator Gershom Bassey, in his lead debate, said that the 36,000km federal road network is by far the largest and most valuable single public infrastructure asset owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He submitted that Nigeria must emulate other nations that involve the private sector in road financing and management.
”There is nowhere in the world that this expanse of the road network is managed solely by the government.