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Tinubu’s Minister Praises Obasanjo Years After Buhari, Others Condemned Ex-President On 8 Billion Power Plants

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Nearly two decades following his departure from office, the Federal Government has finally acknowledged the contributions of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo towards the development of Nigeria’s power sector.

This commendation comes after years of widespread criticism and allegations of wasteful expenditure surrounding Obasanjo’s tenure, particularly regarding the controversial $16 billion investment in power projects.

In a significant shift from previous accusations, the current Minister of Power, Adedayo Adelabu, clarified on Channels Television’s News Night programme that Obasanjo’s administration actually invested $8 billion in the electricity sector, rather than the widely reported $16 billion.

Adelabu praised the former President’s foresight in channeling funds into the construction of power plants across the country, a move that he deemed beneficial for the nation’s energy infrastructure.

The debate over Obasanjo’s spending on power projects has been a contentious issue, with the House of Representatives in 2008 condemning the expenditure as “a colossal waste” and various groups, including the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, calling for thorough investigations.

Ex-President, Muhammadu Buhari and President Bola Tinubu, prior to assuming office, also echoed criticisms of Obasanjo’s power sector investments, lamenting the lack of corresponding improvement in power supply to Nigerians despite the hefty financial outlay.

However, Minister Adelabu’s recent statements offer a reevaluation of Obasanjo’s efforts, highlighting that seven out of the ten projects initiated during his presidency were completed.

These power plants, according to Adelabu, are substantial assets to the country, capable of significantly bolstering Nigeria’s electricity generation capacity.

Despite this, the minister expressed regret over the failure to fully utilize these facilities to enhance power generation, indicating that opportunities to maximize their output were missed.

Speaking on the controversial $16bn spending by the Obasanjo administration, Adelabu said, “While I will not sit here and give you facts about what transpired, I was not in the sector then, I can tell you that the 10 Nigerian Integrated Power Projects under President Olusegun Obasanjo, are there for us to see. And I’m aware they spent over $8bn out of the so-called $16bn that people bandied around. We can see those plants today.

“We have two in Olorunsogo, that is Papalanto in Ogun State. We have two in Omotosho, close to Ore in Ondo State. We have one in Benin. We have Egbema that has not been completed. We have in Calabar. We have about 10 of them. I know seven of them were completed and they are under the management of the Nigeria Delta Power Holding Company today. They have capacity totalling about 5,000MW.

“It was good we made those investments then but the issue is, have we really optimised the benefit of those investments. I would say no!”

Adelabu recalled that he visited some of the power plants recently, saying they were not working to capacity due to gas constraints.

He added, “That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about. Fine, we have invested so much in those gas plants, but have we optimised them?

“So, I’m saying, today in Nigeria, if you want to double our electricity supply, we can double it with the existing capacity that we have before we start talking of even establishing new generation companies.”



is an Associate at Naija News. He is a news media enthusiast, he holds a degree in psychology and loves exploring and sharing about the enormous power that lies in the human mind. Email: [email protected], Instagram: adeniyidman