A National embarrassment occurred on the floor the Senate on Tuesday as power outage almost stalled the screening of 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The incident took place at about 12.13pm while the Senate screening of the 7th nominee, Baba Ahmed Jidda from Borno State was going on.
The lawmakers were forced to stop their procedures but Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume advised the committee to continue the screening.
For over one hour, the committee screening committee used different gadgets such as rechargeable lamps, handset light to illuminate the room before power was restored at about 1:06 p.m.
After a few minutes, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu asked the nominee been interviewed to continue.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu in her welcome address said the screening exercise was in line with the provision of section 171, Sub-section 4 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as Amended) which vested the power of confirmation of person to be appointed as the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Senate.
Earlier in the day, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara decried the misappropriation of over N2.7 trillion invested in the power sector for the past 16 years.
Arguing that huge investment had only bought darkness to Nigeria, Dogara said it has become imperative for Nigerians to put more pressure on the Federal Government and other stakeholders for realistic steps to revamp the electricity industry.
Saraki and Dogara spoke at a two-day stakeholders’ dialogue on “Nigerian Power Challenge: A Legislative Intervention.”
The Speaker asked:
“Perhaps, the most important question is what happened to the N2.74 trillion spent on the sector from 1999-2015?”
“Why is it that the more we spend on the power sector, the more darkness we attract?
“Why are most of the companies licensed by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission not able to start their projects?”
Minister of Power Babatunde Fashola, said the solution was to strengthen the privatisation policy by putting the right structures in place to encourage investors.