$16b power project ”I’m ready for probe” Obasanjo dare Buhari attacks

At different occassions and through different media, Obasanjo has asked Nigerians to kick the Buhari-led government out of office come 2019.

President Muhammadu Buhari says a former president has questions to answer over the $16 billion power project.

The president said this while receiving members of the Buhari Support Organization led by the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Ahmed Ali, at the state house Abuja today May 22nd.

In 2008, the house of representatives had described $16 billion spent on power by Obasanjo’s government as colossal waste, blaming it on “poor budget planning” and a lack of proper oversight by relevant bodies.

The House of Representatives had in 2008 described the $16bn spent on power projects by the Obasanjo administration as a colossal waste.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project had also in 2016 called for an investigation into the expenditure.

Buhari said anybody who claimed to be fighting for the country should not be misappropriating or misapplying the nation’s resources the way some people did.

He reiterated his position that past Nigerian leaders did not save during the oil boom era.

He said, “I have to repeat what I want the public to know here.

“I said and I challenge anybody to check from Europe, Asia and America; between 1999 and 2014, Nigeria was getting 2.1 million barrels per day and was selling at an average cost of $100 per barrel.

“It went up to $143. So, Nigeria was earning 2.1 million times 100 times 16 years seven days a week.

“When we came, it collapsed to between $37 and $38 and it was oscillating between $40 and $54 sometimes.

“I went to the Governor of Central Bank, thank goodness I did not sack him, and he is still there. I went with my cap in my hand and say oya (give me money). He said there were no savings, only debt.”

But responding, Obasanjo said the President’s allegation that $16bn was wasted on power project, was rooted in ignorance

In a statement released by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, the former president said he is ready for a probe.

According to the former president, the power project under his administration has been documented in his book, My Watch, and that if President Buhari cannot read it, he should give the book to any of his aides to read and then summarise in a language he would understand..

The statement read, It has come to the attention of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo that a statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari, apparently without correct information and based on ignorance, suggested that $16 billion was wasted on power projects by “a former President”. We believe that the President was re-echoing the unsubstantiated allegation against Chief Obasanjo by his own predecessor but one’.

Obasanjo argued that 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 exculpated him (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,” .

The former president said President Buhari should read chapters 41, 42, 43 and 47 of his book, ”My Watch” for his insights and perspectives on the power sector during his time and that if the president cannot read, he should give the books to his aides to read and then summarise to a language he would understand.

“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,”

“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 $16bn 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.

“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.”

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