President Muhammadu Buhari has raised questions over the $16 billion allegedly spent on Nigeria’s power sector during the administration of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo.
According to a report by Daily Trust, the president criticised the amount spent by the former president while receiving the Buhari Support Organization at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
While speaking to the delegation led by the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Ahmed Ali, Buhari expressed concerns about the state of the power sector despite the astronomical amount spent by Obasanjo’s administration, even though he didn’t mention him by name.
He remarked, “…and one of the former Heads of State was bragging that he spent more than 16 billion American dollars, not naira, on power. Where is the power? And now we have to pay the debt.”
In November 2016, transparency group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, to probe allegations of corruption on the alleged spending of the $16 billion in question.
The letter read, “A Parliamentary hearing by the House of Representatives in Abuja over the spending of $16 billion between 1999 and 2007 on the power project revealed through testimonies of witnesses appearing before the Committee that the $16 billion budgeted for the power project may have been stolen by some state officials and others, and cannot be accounted for.
“SERAP notes that the failure by successive governments to tell Nigerians the truth about allegations of corruption in the spending of $16 billion on electricity supply amounts to a failure to ensure that energy services/electricity services are progressively made available, on the basis of equality and non-discrimination, to the whole population, including those most disadvantaged, such as the fringe dwellers and the rural poor.
“SERAP also notes that allegations of corruption in the energy sector have resulted in the epileptic and interrupted supply of electricity and corresponding deprivation and denial of the citizens’ access to quality healthcare, adequate food, shelter, clothing, water, sanitation, medical care, schooling, and access to information.”
Obasanjo, who was democratic president between 1999 and 2007, has been a major critic of Buhari’s administration and already created the Coalition of Nigeria Movement (CNM) which has adopted the African Democratic Congress (ADC) as its political platform to install a new political class in the 2019 general elections.
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