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Obasanjo, Others Blew N2.7trn On Power

The Senate Committee Probing The Expenditure On Power Between 1999 And 2015 Has Been Told That 2,850mw Was Generated With N2.7trn

The Federal Government spent a whopping N2.7 trillion between 1999 and 2015 to generate 2,850 mega watts of electricity, thereby increasing the existing generation from 1,750 megawatts to 4,600 megawatts at present. As a result, the Senate has demanded the audited reports of the various agencies and parastatals of the power sector.

Speaking yesterday during an investigative session of the power sector by the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Power, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, disclosed that the above sum was the total sums of monies that were appropriated and cash-backed for the sector during the period.

Igali also added that the sum of $8.34 billion that was spent on National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) from excess crude accounts funds was part of the N2.7 trillion.

He explained that out of the total N1.565 trillion appropriated for the sector during the period under review, N948 billion was released, in addition to N155 billion that was also injected into the sector in form of subsidy under the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) to cushion funding shortfall, which when added to $8.34 billion spent on NIPP projects, gives a total of N2.7 trillion.

Igali, however, said that the sector, before 1999, was even more poorly managed. He explained that there was no single engineer employed into it, 19 years before the time, and out of the 79 generation units available before then, only 19 were functional with power generation of 1,750 megawatts.

“Power sector investment before the advent of democratic governance in 1999, was static, which shouldn’t be so at all. No new power plants between 1991 and 1999, no new transmission line between 1989 and 1999 etc, a very bad trend that gave successive governments from 1999 till date, sleepless nights to reverse, which they eventually did up to the privatization of the sector in November 2013,” he said.

According to him, the slight improvement being experienced in power supply now across the country was due to the privatization of generation and distribution components of the sector in November 2013, one of which is the Ugheli Power Plants, generating 640 megawatts now from 160 megawatts. He assured Nigerians that power supply to every states of the federation would continually improve, going by the seeming end to incidences of vandalisation of gas pipelines and gradual increases in power generation.

In their remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Abubakar Kyari from Borno State, and other members, punctured the various submissions made by Igali and chief executive officers of the various parts of the sector for lack of audited reports attached to them. Kyari particularly noted that the Committee was not only out to know the total monies expended on the sector during the period under review, but also how the monies were spent in terms of probity, accountability, transparency and due process.

He, therefore, demanded the full audit report of the Ministry of Power and the agencies under it before the proper public hearing begins. Meanwhile, the Committee will today (Wednesday) meet with the power distribution companies (Discos) of Nigeria and National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for another round of investigative hearing.

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