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Power: Explain $51bn misused funds, UN asks FG

A power transmission facility

The United Nations has alleged that $51bn was mismanaged in the power sector in the past 10 years under the watch of the Federal Government and demanded proper accountability.

This was contained in a letter of concern sent to President Goodluck Jonathan by the United Nations, with reference number: NGA 5/2013 and dated November, 26 2013.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Ms. Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, and Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Ms. Raquel Rolnik, who signed the letter, demanded answers from the Federal Government over the alleged mismanagement of $3.5bn annually in the power sector in the last 10 years, amounting to $35bn.

The UN rapporteurs sent the letter following a petition lodged in 2013 by a coalition of human rights activists, labour, journalists and lawyers led by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project.

The petition alleged that the implementation of the Multi-Year Tariff Order II by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission was “having detrimental impact on the human rights of those living in poverty in the country.”

The UN also demanded explanations on another $16bn released to improve electricity supply in the country, while insisting that the funds had not been properly accounted for.

The Executive Director, SERAP, Mr. Adetokunbo Mumuni, put the amount of money to be accounted for by the government at $51bn.

The UN rapporteurs, according to a statement by SERAP on Sunday, said they wanted answers to the alleged “mismanagement throughout the privatisation process and around $3.5bn that has been mismanaged annually over the last 10 years, and a total of $16bn released to improve electricity supply in the country that has not been properly accounted for.”

“The Business Units, which have taken over from the PHCN, participate in large-scale corruption such as graft from exorbitant consumer bills, rejection of payment to independent third parties such as banks to keep management of funds secret, unprecedented disconnection of consumers’ power lines, general bribery and fraud amongst staff (members), adding up to over N1bn extra charged to consumers annually,” they said.

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