Obasanjo Blames Rot In PHCN On IBB, Buhari, Others, Warns Against Privatizing Power To Friends

A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has attributed the rot in the power sector to the administrations that came to office after his tenure.

Obasanjo believed that if Nigeria must surmount the power challenge, it must start generating additional 2,000 megawatts every year.

He said apart from his efforts to ensure stable power while he was the military Head of State in 1979, subsequent administrations did nothing on power generation, up to the time he returned as a civilian president in 1999.

The former President said this on Monday at a programme tagged First Green Legacy Moment with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Leadership and Human Security in Africa, held in Abeokuta.

While he noted that part of the challenges confronting the nation was lack of political will by Nigerian leaders, he, however, warned that power should not be “privatised to friends.”

He said, “Part of our problems is lack of political will on the part of the leaders. What does a leader understands about development? Any leader worth his salt should know that power is very important. It is the driver of all development, be it social, economic, and even political.

“When I was military head of state, I developed the Jebba dam, I developed Shiroro, I started Egbin. Shagari came and completed Egbin and inaugurated Jebba and Shiroro.

“Between Shagari in 1983, until I came back in 1999, there was no single dime invested in power generation. If anything, the ones that were there were allowed to go down.

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“A country like Nigeria must be adding not less than 2,000 megawatts every year if we are to be moving on the part of development.

“If you will remember, when I came back in 1999, my first Minister of Power was late Bola Ige. I won’t say Bola didn’t know what he was doing and he said publicly that he would fix the power problems in six months.

“After one year, Bola, with his capacity, couldn’t fathom what was wrong with power; it was riddled with corruption. Then, we had no money. People have forgotten that in 1999/2,000, the price of crude oil was US $9 per barrel.

“When we started having money, we started the National Integrated Power Plant. When we said the money we had should be invested in power, my successor (Umar Yar’Adua) didn’t understand; he stopped it.

“If for almost 20 years, we did not achieve anything in power generation, then we may not be able to get it again.”

Author: News Editor

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