8 September 2017

Nigeria Loses 11 Trn to Power Sector Corruption in 16 Years - Report

Abuja — Total loss to Nigeria from corruption in the electricity sector in 16 years of democratic experience has been put at over N11 trillion.

This was contained in a research report titled: "From Darkness to Darkness: How Nigerians are Paying the Price for Corruption in the Electricity Sector" published by an NGO known as "Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP) in August, 2017 and presented to journalists at an ongoing 3-days training on electricity investigative reporting organised by Whole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) in Lagos

"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," the report reveals.

It also projected that the loss is likely to surpass N20 trillion in the next decade given the rate of government investment and funding in the sector amidst dwindling fortunes and recurrent revenue shortfalls.

According to the report, "the much touted reforms in Nigeria under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 is yet to yield the desired and/or anticipated fruits largely due to corruption and impunity of perpetrators, regulatory lacunae and policy inconsistencies."

It also lamented that the country has lost more megawatts (MWs) in the post-privatisation era to those vices as well as vandalisation of gas pipelines and electricity infrastructure, youth restiveness among others, adding that inadequate record keeping and reluctancy in releasing records are stumbling blocks on the way fact-finding in the media.

According to the report, the research which was situated between 1999 and 2015 involved a team of researchers who worked to gather and useful information and data on outstanding cases of corruption and mismanagement in the power sector among others and analyse them.

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