Nigeria’s Senate formed an ad-hoc committee yesterday to probe the administrations of former presidents Goodluck Jonathan, Umaru Yar’adua and Olusegun Obasanjo. The 13-member committee will investigate their management of funds dispensed to Nigeria’s power sector.
Nigeria has the largest economy on the continent, but Nigeria still suffers from widespread corruption and poverty. About two-thirds of people living in Nigeria have no access to constant electricity, which has stunted economic growth. However, the Nigerian government has spent billions of dollars on the power sector over the years. The new Senate committee will probe whether corruption and graft has blocked Nigerians from receiving adequate power supply.
Since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, the country’s leadership has spent $29.635 billion on power with little progress to show for it. The immediate past administration of former president Jonathan spent $8.26 billion on the sector while Yar’Adua, who died in 2010, spent $5.375 billion and his predecessor Obasanjo expended a whopping $16 billion, according to Vanguard Newspapers.
Wood is still the sole source of energy for hundreds of millions of Africans who lack access to modern sources of power. Over 120 million Nigerians relying on firewood and charcoal for their cooking needs, according to the International Energy Agency. The current Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who took office in May, has sworn to drive out corruption from the country’s previous leaders.
He had previously made it known that nigerians need to know how much has been spent so far over electricity. Over $16bn was spent by Obasanjo regime, yet Nigerians don’t have power. Also, the administration of Jonathan said Nigeria now have over 4,000 mega watts, yet people don’t have the power.