The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP has released a report that detailed how over N11 trillion was pumped into the power sector since 1999 without any result to show for it.
In the 65-page document titled: “From Darkness To Darkness: How Nigerians Are Paying The Price For Corruption In The Electricity Sector,” launched in Lagos on Wednesday, August 9, the group concluded that the funds were wasted under the administrations of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umar Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
It also stated that the perennial poor power supply in the country was proof of corruption in the power sector.
SERAP is, therefore, calling for the probe and prosecution of certain principal actors in the power sector, including a former governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, and Prof. Chinedu Nebo, for their alleged roles in the power sector scam.
Their statement reads thus:
“The Obasanjo’s administration spent $10bn on NIPP with no results in terms of increase in power generation. $13.278,937,409.94 was expended on the power sector in eight years while unfunded commitments amounted to $12bn.
“The Federal Government then budgeted a whopping N16bn for the various reforms under Liyel Imoke (2003- 2007) which went down the drain as it failed to generate the needed amount of electricity or meet the set goals.”
An associate professor of Energy/Electricity Law at the University of Lagos, Yemi Oke, who presented the report said Nigeria has lost more megawatts in the post-privatisation era due to corruption, impunity, among other social challenges as reflected in the report.
Reiterating the content of the report, Prof. Oke said:
“The much-publicised power sector reforms in Nigeria, under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005, have yet to yield desired and anticipated fruits largely due to corruption and impunity of perpetrators, regulatory lapses and policy inconsistencies. Ordinary Nigerians continue to pay the price for corruption in the electricity sector–staying in darkness, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills.”
Speaking at the launching event hosted in Ikeja, a human rights lawyer Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), commended SERAP for the project. He pledged to follow through with the recommendations contained in the report to institute appropriate legal actions against the government.
In his words, Falana, who was the chairman on the occasion, said,
“This report is a must read, and I promise to lead in the follow-up litigation efforts to ensure the full implementation of the recommendations of the report.”
The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, was represented at the occasion by the Director, Public Affairs, EFCC, Mr. Osita Nwajah, who promised that the anti-graft agency would look into the recommendations contained in the report.
Among other recommendations, SERAP advised that federal lawmakers must desist from manipulating the award of electricity contracts under the guise of constituency projects.
Meanwhile, it was reported that some stakeholders are clamouring for government to ensure that 30 percent of its electricity is generated from renewables by 2030.
Renewable energy is gotten from resources which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, the wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.