Dr Marilyn Amobi, NBET boss in multi million naira travel expense scandal
Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc boss, Dr Marilyn Amobi became the latest Buhari administration official to be caught up in a travel expense scandal Monday with the release of a watchdog’s report that painted an 11-day trip to Gainesville, Florida as more of a sightseeing junket than official business for 6 members of the Nigerian National Assembly.
A whooping N65 Million Naira from public funds was alleged to have been spent by the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) for the trip, despite federal government’s restriction on foreign travels and trainings abroad.
A circular conveying the message, titled ‘Restrictions on Foreign Trainings and International Travels by Public Servants,’ was issued from the office of the head of the civil service of the federation to all ministries, departments and agencies of the federal government in 2015, putting embargo on foreign travels and international trainings.
“Public servants invited for foreign trainings/study tour, conferences by any organisation, government or other bilateral/multilateral organisation will be allowed to travel provided that no travel cost, estacode application or any other cost on government is involved, the circular stated.
In defiance of the federal government’s rule, the MD/CEO of NBET, Dr Marilyn Amobi, on the 28th of November 2017, gave a directive to spend $96,350 USD of public funds for Participation at the 43rd International training program on the utility regulation and strategy held in January 15-26 2018 in Gainsville, Florida, USA, by members of the National Assembly committees on power.
The whistleblower alleged that the national assembly members did not attend the event, describing it as a shocking waste of taxpayers money.
The National Assembly members are Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, (PDP Abia), Senator Adamu Aliero, (APC Kebbi), Senator Lanre Tejuosho, (APC Ogun), Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, (PDP Abia), Hon. Daniel Asuquo, (PDP Cross River) Hon. Mohammed Garba Gololo, (APC Bauchi).