How Govt Officials, Contractors Connive To Fleece Nigeria Of Trillions Of Naira Over Power Sector Contracts- Elumelu
A former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Godwin Ndudi Elumelu, Monday opened up on the depth of scam going on in Nigeria’s power sector with a verdict that the nation has lost trillions of naira to both government officials and contractors who had connived in the past to fleece the federal government of the huge funds.
Elemuelu who was the chairman, House Adhoc committee on power sector in the 6th Assembly, equally advised members of the Senate Adhoc committee probing the nation’s power sector to shun ethnic consideration and put Nigeria first if the exercise must yield desired results that will benefit the country.
Elumelu who spoke with journalists in his Abuja office said that the power sector had been used by cabals in connivance with government officials to bleed the nation to a near death, adding that a situation where government would spend $1.545 billion on 9 Gas Turbines when 18 of the same equipment were bought for $404 million within a short period was evil and a rape of the nation’s economy.
According to him, “From Kubwa to Katampe sub-station, there is a transmission line. When we checked the cost of the line, we found that it was over-inflated. Then another mind-boggling discovery was made where 18 turbines procured for $404 million. Then when additional 9 turbines were needed, they now spent $1.545 billion on them. Is that sane for anybody to comprehend?
“Power sector probe requires lots of commitment and dedication for one to get out of it unhurt. So I am happy that the Senate came up again with it. Because its quite disheartening to see that with what has been expended on the sector, we are still battling to generate just about 3,500 megawatts of electricity.
“In the course of doing our investigation, we travelled to Brazil for a comparative assessment public investment in electricity and we found out that what they spent to achieve stable electricity was far less that than what we had spent but had nothing to show for it.
“In Brazil, Geometric Power told me that they spent $12 billion to generate 12,000 megawatts and its working very well. As at that time Nigerian government had already spent close to $16 billion generating between 2,500 to 3,000 megawatts of electricity.”
He therefore urged the Senate to do more by going in-depth in their probe. He however expressed fear that those responsible for the nation’s helpless in power generation woes will not rest on their oars by planting agents in the committee for the purpose of sabotaging the exercise.
“What they have set out to do is very commendable given the anti corruption drive of the current administration. But do not be surprised if you also find out that some of the people on the committee are even sponsored by them. So its a highly organised cabal which runs these things,” he added.
He assured that he would be available to make a presentation before the panel if a well publicised platform is made available at the public hearing, adding that any attempt to elicit information from well-meaning Nigerians including himself behind closed doors will put the genuineness of the exercise to question.