Nigerian lawmakers have summoned former president Olusegun Obasanjo to explain how he spent so much money on energy – and accomplished so little.
The Obasanjo administration spent more than $16 billion dollars on energy projects. But power failures continue across most of the country, and the current government says power generation has dropped to critical levels.
A countrywide tour by lawmakers revealed several abandoned power projects that were certified as completed by the Obasanjo administration. The former president is to appear before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Power and Steel with his former deputy, Atiku Abubakar.
Emma Ezeazu is general secretary of the alliance for Credible Elections, which is pushing for the investigation of all former government officials. Ezeazu began by explaining what Obasango originally said he would do. “Right from the time Obasanjo took over power he promised the nation that he was going to turn around the power sector and mobilize the nation psychologically, that the power sector was an emergency area and as a result he allowed himself to pump lots and lots of resources into the area.”
Ezeazu says the results of have been disappointing, and the situation is dire and a threat to economic progress. “Eight years down the line, Nigerians are asking where are the megawatts. As I am talking to you, electricity is so epileptic at the capital city of Abuja, so it is really a nation in darkness.”
Ezeazu says the former president has nothing to fear if he gives a truthful account of how he spent the funds.
“This is not a trial, as far as I am concerned; this is a fact-finding mission. Nobody is on trial yet. The important thing was that he was president at a particular time that anti-corruption ideologically put on the front burner of national issues. It was during this time he propagated anti-corruption that we have the most deep-rooted corruption in the economy, in the country.”