Buhari fights back, asks Obasanjo to account for over $16bn power project
Abuja, May 22, 2018 (AltAfrika)-President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday querried the spending of $16bn on power project during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The president was speaking at the Presidential Villa in Abuja while receiving the Buhari Support Organization led by the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali.
Buhari did not mention Obasanjo’s name, but asked where was the power after a former president claimed to have spent $16bn on the project.
The House of Representatives had in 2008 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 Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project had also in 2016 urged the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Water Samuel Onnoghen, to immediately appoint an independent counsel to investigate allegations of corruption in the spending of $16 billion on electricity by Obasanjo’s government
On Tuesday, Buhari insisted that past administrations failed to invest in infrastructure in the country.
He gave an indication that no roads were repaired in the country after his days at the Petroleum Trust Fund.
The President said, “You know, more than I do, the condition of roads. Some of them were not repaired since PTF days.
“No matter what opinion you have about (late Gen. Sani) Abacha, I agreed to work with him and the PTF. We constructed roads from here (Abuja) to Port Harcourt, to Onitsha, to Benin and so on.
“This was in addition to other things in education, medical care and so on.
“You know the rail was killed and one of the former Heads of State between that time was bragging that he spent more than 15 billion American dollars, not naira, on power. Where is the power? Where is the power?
“And now, we have to pay the debts. This year and last year’s budgets that I took to the National Assembly were the highest in capital projects: more than $1.3 trn.
“Let anybody come and confront me publicly in the National Assembly. What have they been doing? Some of them have been there for 10 years. What have they been doing?”
Buhari said anybody who claimed to be fighting for the country should not be misappropriating or misapplying the nation’s funds the way some people did.