Corruption in Nigeria and the energy contracts probe
The Civil Society Legislative Centre(CISLAC) has observed with dismay and surprise the show of shame that is taking place by few legislators in the House of Representatives over the consideration of the Elumelu committee report on the power sector.
When the House of Representatives decided to set up a committee to probe the power sector, Nigerians applauded the decision. The investigations were keenly followed by Nigerians and the startling revelations which showed that billions of naira was spent on the sector without commensurate results on project executions were also shocking.
Nigerians are equally aware of the findings of the Elumelu led committee as they sat in the open and visited project sites in the full glare of television cameras. In most of the sites, Nigerians already know that in spite of the over 80% down payment by the Obasanjo administration, most of these sites could only boast of an empty piece of land.
For the report to have been kept away from the public for so long until when the Nigerian people mounted pressure on the House of Representatives to make it public and consider it, only to be faced with the current diversionary tactics smacks off the feeling that so much water has passed under the bridge.
The allegation that members of the committee were compromised and that out spoken members of the House were offered financial inducements would not be doubted if the power probe report is ignored or reduced to who signed what or who didn´t sign.
What has happened so far is not only a disgrace but an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians and portrays the federal legislature in bad light. In this era of anti corruption and rebranding, we urge the National Assembly to take steps and rebrand itself in the eyes of Nigerians. The House of Representatives should consider the report as compiled by the Elumelu committee.. Nothing short of making the entire recommendation public and considering this will be acceptable by Nigerians. It would be simply fraudulent to toy with the destiny of Nigerians by trying to divert attention from the recommendations of the committee.
We also strongly warn that any attempt to continue to toy with the destiny of Nigerians will be resisted by the Nigerian people. Power sector is the life wire of the economy, the state at which it is today is responsible for the further impoverishment of the citizenry.
The power sector has experienced more corruption in high places than desired and only the consideration of the report and appropriate sanctions can atone for the year of corruption in the sector and by extension the economy.
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Centre
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