Press Conference by Young Nigerian Professionals (YNP) On The Planned House Of Reps Power Spending Probe
Good day gentlemen of the press, and everybody here present.
We note that the Senate ministerial screening and the Police/Shi’te clash were two events that absorbed the attention of Nigerians last week, which took attention away from the resolve of the House to again reinvestigate the power sector spending. Hence, we convey this brief conference to remind the nation of the need to now refocus attention on the planned probe by the House of Representatives of all the power contracts by successive administrations.
Without accountability, without bringing those who brought Nigerians this low to justice, we cannot seriously move forward.
It would be recalled that Hon. Sada Soli, member representing Jibia/Kaita Federal Constituency of Katsina State, moved a motion entitled, ‘Need to review government expenditure on the power sector to ensure sustenance of the power reform programme in Nigeria.’ The motion was unanimously adopted by the House which resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to “carry out a comprehensive investigative hearing on how much money was spent on the power sector reform programme over the years without commensurate results and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.”
In the light of the above, we, the Young Nigerian Professionals, will like to demand for a thorough investigation this time around. We demand for an unbiased and transparent investigation into the power sector spending over the years; the sort that will bring anyone involved in any shady deals to book, no matter how highly placed or influential such persons or individuals are.
Considering that this will be a very comprehensive investigation, covering the $16 billion spent by the Obasanjo-led government between 1999 and 2007, the power spending of administrations of Presidents Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (late), Goodluck Jonathan and the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari; we are confident no one will hide under the excuse of being witch hunted.
Having had a similar investigative hearing by the House of Representatives in 2008 over the alleged $16 billion spending on power sector by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, we reiterate that only an open, transparent and painstaking investigation would unravel the mystery surrounding the huge investment into the power sector which has left Nigeria with more darkness.
With just a year to go before the 2020 target of a 40,000 MW for the country, based on the alleged investment in the proposed power plants, all those who have questions to answer must be brought forward to explain why the power generation target has remained unattainable despite the huge investments. We repeat that all those found culpable must be brought to book, no matter who they are.
Everyday, Nigerians suffer the absence of electric power supply; businesses have been forced to sustain themselves on diesel, and they have been most times forced to close shop, or send the burden to poor Nigerians; all these have been caused by deliberate sabotage, malfeasance and brazen theft of money meant for the power sector. It is high time that the books are opened, and the way and manner all funds allocated to this sector were spent are made public; while those who are found wanting face the wrath of the law.
We therefore totally support the resolve of the House of Representatives to investigate and uncover those behind the ineffective and corruption – ridden investments in the power sector. Our Forum will keep watch on the process of investigation by the House and follow it to its final conclusion.
Charles Olufemi Folayan (Chairman)
Umar Sani Bello (Secretary)