Reps to investigate TCN over $2b in foreign loans

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The House of Representatives will investigate $2 billion in foreign loans which the state-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) may have raised without official approval, The Nation reports.

The investigation could be a blow to efforts to improve Nigeria’s creaking power infrastructure, which is often blamed for hobbling growth in Africa’s largest economy. The Federal Government privatised most of its power sector in 2013 but retained control of the dilapidated monopoly grid operator, TCN.

A member of the House, Hon Simon Arabo, said in a motion that the TCN had borrowed $1.5 billion from the World Bank and other international lenders without securing the approval of the National Assembly as required by the law. Arabo did not name the other lenders but said TCN is currently negotiating another loan of $500 million with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

He described the grid operator’s contract processes as opaque and may have violated procurement laws. Lawmakers agreed to investigate the activities of the TCN over the past 10 years in respect of foreign loans and contract awards and to report their findings within eight weeks.