The senate committee on gas says the federal government cannot disburse N100 billion earmarked for buses powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) without the approval of the national assembly.
The committee’s comment came after it asked Wale Edun, minister of finance, to provide details on the disbursement of N100 billion for the project.
In August 2023, the federal government said it would invest N100 billion between that time and March 2024, to acquire 3,000 units of 20-seater buses powered by CNG.
Another N130 billion was budgeted for CNG conversion and electric vehicles in December.
However, not much has been heard about the project since December 2023.
In a statement on Thursday, Jarigbe Jarigbe, chairman of the senate committee on gas, said there is a plot to blackmail the panel’s inquiry into the project.
“The committee insists that it amounts to breach of the procurement act for the presidential committee on CNG to go ahead with the disbursement with the approval of the national assembly,” the statement reads.
“The president has good intentions and we cannot allow his intentions to be frustrated. Nigerians are in pain and we want results.
“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 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 represents in this instance.
“The senate is saddled with the responsibility of oversight 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 senator expressed dismay over reports that portrayed the committee’s inquiry as a threat to Edun.