Former Minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, has accused the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE)
of selling electricity asset (Ring-fence) that would have helped to guarantee a stable power supply to economic cluster zones of the federation to “a friend of government”.
Nnaji who did not name the individual or group, said the over N100 billion project which was meant to bolter power supply in Abuja central business district and Aba, Anambra state, was allegedly transacted under a shoddy deal when the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was the President of the country between 2004 and 2005.
According to him, the transaction was done in clear breach of a concession agreement between the BPE and a private foreign firm in 2005, “in spite of an agreement that concession’s the federal capital territory for 20 years upon the completion of the power plant and the right of first refusal should there be privatisation”.
The former minster dropped the hint while delivering the University of Benin, 41st convocation lecture at Akin Deko main auditorium, Ugbowo campus at the weekend, in Benin City, Edo state.
Speaking on the topic: “The University, the Industry, Entrepreneurship and National Economy”, Nnaji, attributed the dwindling fortunes of the power sector in the past to corruption, said: “the Ring – fence is the financial security for this multi- million dollar project, “with its bold spiritedness has meant the Nigerian factor”.
“We therefore approached President to expand the model to a larger economic cluster.However, during privation, corruption interfered with the commissioning of this important project when BPE sold the Ring-fence to a friend of government.”
“On the distribution side, we built over 105 kilometres of overhead lines a 33 KV level, and we built over 40 kilometres overhead lines at 11KV levels. All these are completed. We have invested a total of US$530 million or over a N100 billion in that project…that is what is held standstill because of what happened. I taking to talk like my friend here, saying it as it is. This is corruption at work. That is what is held standstill.
“So, you produce electricity, you put it to the ring fence that you have rebuilt and that is it because you are collecting directly from the consumers, that is the finacial security. No sovereign guarantee. When you remove the ring fence, you have killed the product, totally killed the product.
“…The buying of the distribution companies is just given, but it is the investment that you must make as a distribution companies that matters. he said.