Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has disclosed that he was ready for probe over $16bn his administration was said to have spent on power projects yet the country still grapples with epileptic power supply.
Chief Obasanjo in a statement from his Media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi was apparently reacting to statement credited to President Muammadu Buhari who while paying host to some groups in Abuja lamented how a particular administration wasted $16bn on power projects yet there is no power anywhere in the country.
The former President said that President Buhari was however speaking out of ignorance, lack of correct information and only re-echoing unsubstantiated allegation against him by his predecessor in government.
The statement reads “While it is doubtful that a President with proper understanding of the issue would utter such, it should be pointed out that records from the National Assembly had exonerated President Obasanjo of any wrong-doing concerning the power sector and has proved the allegations as false”
“For the records, Chief Obasanjo has addressed the issues of the power sector and the allegations against him on many occasions and platforms, including in his widely publicised book, My Watch in which he exhaustively stated the facts and reproduced various reports by both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which conducted a clinical investigation into the allegations against Chief Obasanjo, and the Ad-Hoc Committee on the Review of the Recommendations in the Report of the Committee on Power on the Investigation into how the huge sums of money was spent on power generation, transmission and distribution between June 1999 and May 2007 without Commensurate Result”.
“We recommend that the President and his co-travellers should read Chapters 41, 42, 43 and 47 of My Watch for Chief Obasanjo’s insights and perspectives on the power sector and indeed what transpired when the allegation of $16 billion on power projects was previously made. If he cannot read the three-volume book, he should detail his aides to do so and summarise the chapters in a language that he will easily understand”.
“In the same statement credited to the President, it was alleged that there was some bragging by Chief Obasanjo over $16 billion spent on power. To inform the uninformed, the so-called $16 billion power expenditure was an allegation against Chief Obasanjo’s administration and not his claim. The President also queried where the power generated is. The answer is simple: The power is in the seven National Integrated Power Projects and eighteen gas turbines that Chief Obasanjo’s successor who originally made the allegation of $16 billion did not clear from the ports for over a year and the civil works done on the sites”.
“Chief Obasanjo challenges, and in fact encourages, anybody to set up another enquiry if in doubt and unsatisfied with the EFCC report and that of the Hon. Aminu Tambuwal-led ad-hoc committee”.