The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) has blown $55,000(N19 million) on training of 20 members of its staff in Denmark.
The cost of the four-day training is outside the flight tickets and exigencies.
The federal government is said to be worried that the agency violated its directive to all parastatals on January 22, 2016, placing embargo on foreign training and international travels by public servants in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The agency is belived not to have sought the permission of the supervising Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
The programme was between October 23 and 27.
The row generated by the overseas training made the government to rate it as “suspect”.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The government is worried that NBET ignored the circular banning foreign training for staff. It also did not refer the training to the supervising ministry for input and approval.
“Apart from the large number of employees on the trip, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has discovered that the training could be done locally.
“The contents of the course can be handled by some institutions, like Pan-Africa University, specialised universities and management centres.
“Alternatively, the resource persons could have been flown to Nigeria for the four-day training.
“We discovered that NBET merely blew scarce resources on unnecessary training in Denmark. The agency paid DKK 339,375, including 25% VAT (DKK 68, 875)—(about $55,000), for the training outside the expenditures incurred on flight and allowances.
“The government is looking into this and will take appropriate action against the management of NBET.”
The January 22, 2016 circular said:
Proposals for participation or attendance of international Conferences, Seminar, Workshops, Study Tours, Trainings, Presentation of Papers, Negotiation/Signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) abroad at Government expense, shall no longer be allowed except those that are fully funded by sponsoring/inviting Organization;
No Ministry Extra-Ministerial Office, Department, Agency or Parastatal shall send staff outside Nigeria for training at Government expense-whether or not that Agency draws funds from the Federal Government Budget or meets its financial needs from revenue generated by itself;
According to a document obtained by our correspondent, the management of NBET had entered into an agreement with the Department of Management of Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University for a four-day Professional Training Programme for 20 officials.
The agreement said in part: “The programme focus is on the use of scenario planning, systems thinking and strategic modeling in the electricity sector. It explores how these methods can create an advantage for NBET and provide tools and frameworks for understanding the challenges laying ahead for the organization.
“The progamme is designed on the basis of the Aarhus BSS course: System Thinking and Scenario Analysis, and customized for the specific request of NBET. (“Training Programme”)