FORMER vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Monday, blamed former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, for the woes in the country’s oil and power sector.
Atiku, at the ongoing 36th Kaduna International Trade Fair, said since Obasanjo doubled as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, nobody knew what was happening in the sector.
Atiku, speaking on why private investors were unable to collect licence to build refineries, in order to cushion the excruciating hardship occasioned by fuel scarcity during the Obasanjo/Atiku-led administration, he said in the eight years of the administration, there was no Minister of Petroleum Resources.
Atiku said for that reason, throughout the period, he was not able to make an appreciable input.
According to Atiku, the oil and gas sector was solely handled by Obasanjo, adding that at that time, nobody knew what was happening in the sector.
“During our administration, there was no transparency and accountability in the oil and gas industry.
“There was a time we were handed with a Ghana-must-go memo on the oil and gas and asked by the president for our input and I refused to support it,” he said.
On the power sector, Atiku said Obasanjo’s government, rather than adopting short and medium term measures, went for a long-term approach which led to the waste of several billions of dollars in an attempt to revamp the sector.
He said that President Goodluck Jonathan took the same step, which accounted for the current epileptic power supply in the country today.
He opined that the in-coming government of General Muhammad Buhari could reverse the current privatisation exercise in the sector, for Nigeria to move on.
This came as he lamented the nonchalant attitude of northern governors in ensuring the educational development of the region.
Atiku, who chaired a seminar organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (KACCIMA), on Monday, said despite the summit on education held by the 19 northern state governors in the early 2000 of the Obasanjo/Atiku administration, nothing tangible was achieved.
The Turakin Adamawa explained that as the vice president then, he had summoned all the governors of the region to the Arewa House, Kaduna, to brainstorm on how to bridge the educational gap between the North and South, but lamented that nothing came out of the summit 16 years after.
“After several days of the summit, I came up with a blueprint on the sector and part of the blueprint was that each governor of the region should devote at least 25 per cent of their annual budget to the education sub-sector.
“Japan, Singapore never depended on oil, but human capital development and today they are ranked among the world best economy,” he said.
He regretted that out of the 19 northern states, only Kebbi had devoted 24 per cent of its annual budget to education in the state.
According to the former vice president, until state governments began investment in education, there would be no meaningful development.