A former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said on Monday in Kaduna that the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government adopted the wrong approach in tackling the power sector crisis
Atiku argued that this accounted for the failure of the government to achieve any appreciative result in the sector.
The former Vice President recalled that the Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration, in which he played a key role, failed to address the power sector problems because that government took a long term measure rather than a short term approach to address the issues in the power sector.
Atiku, who was the chairman at the 36th Kaduna International Trade Fair’s Seminar, organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, said these while responding to questions from the audience.
The seminar has as its theme ‘Making it in Nigeria: Promoting domestic production for national sustainable economic development’. Atiku argued that under the Obasanjo administration, there was no minister in charge of petroleum for the eight years he was vice president, saying he was handicapped to respond to a question on why private investors were unable to obtain licences to build refineries.
He, however, noted that in the eight years when Obasanjo, as President, doubled as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, he(Atiku) was not able to make any appreciable input.
According to him, the oil and gas sector was solely handled by his principal.
He added that at that time, nobody knew what was happening in that sector.
“During our administration, there was no transparency and accountability in the oil and gas industry. There was a time we were handed a Ghana-Must-Go memo on the oil and gas and the President asked for our input and I refused to support it,” he added.
Atiku explained that the Obasanjo government took the wrong approach in tackling the power challenges and ended up spending several billions of dollars on the sector without appreciable results.
He said the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government took the same step, which accounted for the current epileptic power supply in the country today.
The ex-VP believed that the incoming government of Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(retd.) could find the political will to reverse the privatisation of the power sector for Nigeria to move on.
“There is a need for a political will to reverse the privatisation in the power sector for Nigeria to move on,” he said.
Meanwhile, Atiku also carpeted the 19 northern state governors for not doing enough in the education sector in the region.