Former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, has blamed his former boss, Nigeria’s ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo, for the prolonged crisis in the power sector.
Atiku, who served under Obasanjo’s regime from 1999-2007, said this in an interview with Punch on Sunday, May 24, where he alleged that the latter’s adoption of a reform modeled after the gas power stations resulted in the lingering power crisis in the country.
Atiku said he advised Obasanjo to adopt a short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions to the power sector reform. He said the country had gotten foreign investors, who were prepared to come and invest between $250m and $500m to set up small and medium -size power stations.
He faulted Obasanjo’s long term solution, which involved the building the of gas infrastructure.
“By now, we would have been self-sufficient, but he said, ‘Oh, we must go gas’ and I said, ‘Gas? There is a problem. It’s long term; a lot of investments. There is instability in the region (Niger Delta). You must bring peace, before they would allow you to evacuate the gas.”
Atiku noted that he refused to chair the power committee set up by the Obasanjo administration because of the long term approach the former president adopted.
“He wanted to go for the long-term and up till now, we are not yet there. “If we had adopted the short- term and medium-term solutions to our power problem, we would have been self-sufficient by 2005; even before we left office,” he said.
Atiku also explained that, the short term solution would have succeeded because that strategy was planned for small and medium power stations in various parts of the country.
He also faulted the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, on the grounds that the process was flawed.
“How does one begin to privatise distribution? Distribution of what? There is no power. First of all, one should start with generation,” he said.
He argued that it was meaningless to privatise a power company, which lacked the capacity to generate power. He added that one had to start with generation, then transmission and when there is enough power, then one knows that it has the capacity to transmit as well as distribute.
Atiku Abubaker, also expressed the belief that coming administration of Muhammadu Buhari has the political will to tackle corruption.READ MORE: http://www.naij.com/446011-blame-obasanjo-for-the-failure-in-power-sector-atiku.html