President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration did not spend $16Billion on the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) report revealed.
As a matter of fact, only N360.7billion had been paid to the contractors — as at 2007 when Obasanjo left office.
According to the report, which was compiled using the naira, 27 companies got the contracts for transmission lines.
Compiled by former EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde when he headed the agency in acting capacity, the report was said to have been handed over to a former Chairman of the EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri, when she resumed office.
According to the report, obtained by The Nation, the figures were arrived at after extensive investigations by the anti-graft commission.
President Muhammadu Buhari had accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration of blowing $16b on power.
Obasanjo replied that he was never indicted, adding: “The answer is simple: The power is in the seven National Integrated Power Projects and eighteen gas turbines that Chief Obasanjo’s successor who originally made the allegation of $16 billion did not clear from the ports for over a year and the civil works done on the sites.”
The report said: “Further investigations also revealed that a National Integrated Power Project is currently apace in six zones of the country for which about N1.2tr was committed by the Federal Government.
“The projects were also at different levels of completion but as at the moment of this report, N360,714,147,700.03 has been paid out to contractors, leaving a balance of N870,234,918,828.06 yet to be paid, pending the completion of the project.
“After an in-depth investigation and rigorous check on all documents relating to these contracts, the payments made so far, and the contractors handling the project, it is impossible to draw a nexus between the former President or any individual or companies associated with him and the proceed accruing from the contract payments.”
On the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the report said that only about N273.65billion was released to the agency between 1999 and 2007 for its day-to-day activities.
The report adds: “On the issue of NEPA (now the Power Holding Company of Nigeria), investigation has revealed that between 1999 and 2007, over N273.65billion has been received by the institution and not N521billion as alleged. This appropriation is for its day-to-day activities, including generation of electricity, its transmission and distribution to the people of Nigeria.
“Investigations have also revealed that various contracts in relation to generation of electricity transmission were awarded which amounted to N22.297.162, 467.57billion; US$445.244.630.07million; Euro 20, 105,436.31million; and £8,987,322 million. All the documents relating to payments have been checked and scrutinised and there was no reference whatsoever to the former President, his relations or any front who benefited from the contracts.”
A report of the Presidential Review Panel on the NIPP set up by the National Economic Council (NEC) said as at 2007, “total project allocations/estimates for NIPP” amounted to $10.231 billion, including the $2 billion Federal Government counterpart funding for Mambilla Hydro Power project and $1.4 billion for additional nine turbines.
According to the then Governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam, who made the presentation of the panel’s report, “Out of these commitments, only $3.08 billion was funded and scrutinised with advance payment guarantees from “first class” Nigerian banks and Letters of Credits issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Over $1.5 billion of the sum is still in the custody of the banks.”
The report concluded: “The committee agreed that completing the project as initiated (by Obasanjo) is the right way to go.”