Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has heaped the blame of Power failure in the country to his successors, according to him, they abandoned the power sector without doing anything to it.
According to the Former president while speaking at a programme themed First Green Legacy Moment with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Leadeship and Human Security in Africa held in Abeakuta, he said while in office in 1979 and 1999 he tried to ensure that there is stable power supply but the leaders who came after him has abandoned and made it moribund.
Speaking Obasanjo said; “Part of our problem is lack of political will on the part of the leaders. What does a leader understand about development, any leader worth its salt should know that power is very important. It is the driver of all development, be it social, economic, and even political. When I was military head of state, I developed the Jebba dam, I developed Shirroro, I started Egbin. Shagari came and completed Egbin and commissioned Jebba and Shirroro.”
According to Obasanjo, he said since 1983 when Shagari was in power and when he came back in 1999 there was no any Kobo invested in power generation as he added that even the ones that were there were allowed to go down.
“A country like Nigeria must be adding not less than two thousand megawatts if we are to be moving on the path of development. If you will remember, when I came back in 1999, my first Minister of Power was late Bola Ige. I won’t say Bola didn’t know what he was doing and he said publicly that he would fix the power problems in six months,” Obasanjo said.
“After one year, Bola with his capacity couldn’t fathom what was wrong with power. It was riddled with corruption. Then we had no money, people have forgotten that in 1999/2000, the price of crude oil was US $9 per barrel. So, I wanted the oil companies; Mobil, Total and they wouldn’t go along. When we started having money, we started the National Integrated Power Plant . When we said the money we had should be invested in power, my successor didn’t understand, he stopped it.”
“If for almost 20 years we did not achieve anything in power generation, then we may not be able to get it again.
“Let me give you an example: the population of South Africa is 55 million and they generate 45,000 megawatts. Our population today is about 180 million people and could not generate 4,000 megawatts. And South Africa is an industrialising country and not an industrialised nation.
“For us to say that we are industrialising country, we must be generating much more than what South Africa is generating, say 100,000 megawatts. What year will Nigeria get there if we are adding 2,000 megawatts each year? For us to get to 100, 000 megawatts, I leave the mathematics to you. It sounds very discouraging, but that is the reality”, he said.