Nigerian parliament to probe US$10m power expenditure

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Nigerian parliament to probe US$10m power expenditure

Nigeria’s House of Representatives (parliament) has voted to probe the US$10 billion reportedly spent on the power sector by the immediate past, Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration, in seven years with little or no result.

The House Committee on Power and Steel has been given four weeks to investigate the disclosure, announced by Obasanjo’s hand-picked successor, Umaru Yar’Adua, during the recent visit of the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, Obiageli Ezekwesili, who incidentally was a member of Obasanjo’s cabinet.

Yar’Adua said the money was spent between 2000 and 2007, without a commensurate improvement in the country’s perpetually-poor power situation.

Indications are that the committee may summon former President Obasanjo to testify before it. ”The committee is not afraid of anybody, no matter how highly placed. Anybody who took part in the disbursement of the US$10 billion will be invited, irrespective of who the person is,” committee chairman Ndudi Elumelu said

The revelation has generated widespread anger in Nigeria, where most households and firms enjoy less than six hours of electricity per day.

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