By Abdulwahab Abdulah
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has urged the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, to disclose the spending on the privatisation of the electricity sector and the exact amount of post-privatisation spendings to date.
In a Freedom of Information request sent to the minister, SERAP, was asking him to also explain if such spendings came from budgetary allocations or other sources.
The organisation is also seeking “information on the status of implementation of the 25-year national energy development plan, and whether the Code of Ethics of the privatisation process which bars staff of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE and members of the National Council on Privatisation, NCP from buying shares in companies being privatised, were deliberately flouted.”
In a letter signed by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, it stated that since the privatisation of the Power sector, the government has continued to use public resources to subsidise the private entities.
“The Goodluck Jona-than Government reportedly spent over N400 billion on the Power sector while the present government spent over N500 billion on the sector despite privatisation.
It is unclear if this spending is drawn from budgetary allocations and if these are loans to generation companies, GENCOS, Distribution companies, DISCOS, and Transmission Company of Nigeria.”
The organisation said, “Assuming the funds are given as loans, SERAP would like to know whether appropriate guarantees have been provided to secure such loans, and whether such loans provide value for money for Nigerian tax-payers. Publishing details of spending on privatisation of the power sector and post-privatisation spending on GENCOS and DISCOS would serve the public interest and provide insights relevant to the public debate on combating corruption in the Power sector as well as help to improve citizens’ access to regular and uninterrupted electricity supply.”
However, SERAP threatened that if the minister fails to produce the information within 14 days, it would not hesitate to take appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel his compliance.