I did not Squander N11trn on Electricity – Jonathan
Former president, Goodluck Jonathan has reacted to the report that he was among the past Nigerian leaders who wasted over N11tn on electricity.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, had on Wednesday disclosed how over N11 trillion meant for the provision of electricity supply was allegedly squandered by the administrations of former Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Jonathan.
Jonathan, while reacting through his former aide on new media, Reno Omokri, described the report as false and baseless.
He said the story was false and the fruit of the laziness of the researchers who could have taken advantage of the Freedom of Information Act that Dr. Jonathan signed into law in May, 2011.
His statement reads: “My attention has been drawn to the story ‘Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan wasted N11tn on electricity –SERAP’ published most prominently in The Punch newspapers on August 10, 2017 and less prominently in other papers.
“Former President Jonathan could not have wasted ₦11 trillion or any other amounts of money for the simple reason that he was the Nigerian President who privatized the Power Sector beginning on August 26, 2010 when he launched the roadmap to power sector reforms and culminating on October 16, 2012 when the winning bids were announced for the sale of power generating and distributing companies.
“At that event, he said ‘I congratulate our new owners who have taken over the engines and cables that are expected to drive not just the electricity industry but also the socio-economic well-being of the natio’.
“In fact, rather than wasting money, the Jonathan administration generated money for the federation from the sale of these assets which were seen to be transparent and followed global best practices.
“Between May 6th 2010 when he was first sworn in as President to May 29, 2015 when he handed over power, the budget for the ministry of power under Dr. Jonathan was not up to ₦400 billion in total for the simple reason that his administration had succeeded in transferring most of Nigeria’s power assets, liabilities and personnel from the public sector to the private sector.
“As such, it is evidently clear that any allegations that the Jonathan government wasted trillions is not a well thought out allegation at best and is a figment of the imagination of the makers at worse.