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SERAP wants Buhari, EFCC, others to probe N11trn electricity fund, as outage persists nationwide

Gencos, Discos deny receiving N200bn payment from Nigerian govtDue to the persisting power outage across the country, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has implored President Muhammadu Buhari to commence investigations into the alleged misappropriation of N11 trillion meant to revamp the power sector.

This was contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare who also tasked appropriate anti-corruption agencies to ensure prompt investigations into the matter.

SERAP’s letter followed the collapse of the national grid, which has plunged the country into total darkness. Generation capacity has dropped to 2,000 megawatts with about 14 power plants shutting down.

“Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any missing public funds should be traced and fully recovered.”

“The failure of successive governments and high-ranking government officials to prevent corruption in the electricity sector and to bring suspected perpetrators to justice is the primary cause of the persistent crisis in the electricity sector, including the exploitation of electricity consumers, and collapse of the electricity grid,” the organisation stated.

The statement reads in part, “Nigerians have for far too long been denied justice and the opportunity to get to the bottom of why they continue to pay the price for corruption in the electricity sector–staying in darkness, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills.

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“The staggering amounts of public funds alleged to have been stolen over the years in the electricity sector have had catastrophic effects on the lives of millions of Nigerians, akin to crimes against humanity against the Nigerian people.

“Investigating the allegations of missing N11 trillion electricity funds, prosecuting suspected perpetrators and recovering any missing public funds would end a culture of impunity. It would also address persistent collapse of the electricity grid, and improve access to and affordability of electricity in the country.

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“Corruption in the electricity sector and the lack of transparency and accountability in the use of public funds to support the operations of DISCOS have resulted in regular blackouts, electricity grid collapse, and unlawful hike in electricity tariffs.

“Your government has constitutional and international obligations to ensure regular and uninterrupted supply of electricity, even in times of resource constraints.

“SERAP urges you to urgently implement documented reports of cases of corruption in the electricity sector, and ensure full accountability and restitution.

“The details of the missing N11 trillion electricity funds are contained in a SERAP report titled: From Darkness to Darkness: How Nigerians are paying the Price for Corruption in the Electricity Sector.

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“According to the report, the total estimated financial loss to Nigeria from corruption in the electricity sector starting from the return to democracy in 1999 to date is over N11 trillion. This represents public funds, private equity and social investment (or divestments) in the power sector.

“It is estimated that the loss may reach over N20 trillion in the next decade given the rate of Government investment and funding in the power sector amidst dwindling fortune and recurrent revenue shortfalls.

“The enforcement of the judgment could potentially reveal individuals, contractors, and companies allegedly responsible for squandering over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply under successive governments, lead to the prosecution of suspected perpetrators, and recovery of any missing public funds.

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”

The letter was copied to Mr Malami.

The post SERAP wants Buhari, EFCC, others to probe N11trn electricity fund, as outage persists nationwide appeared first on Latest Nigeria News | Top Stories from Ripples Nigeria.

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