Anti-corruption group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has asked the Federal Government to publish the names of contractors in the power sector who allegedly received money but failed to execute awarded projects.
The group said its demand followed a claim by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar that some contractors, who were awarded electricity contracts, disappeared after receiving payments for the contracts.
“The money went down the drain. Up till now, we are not holding the contractors responsible. People have collected money upfront, 100 per cent, and have disappeared; and they have not even done any work,” Atiku was quoted to have said during a programme on Channels TV.
SERAP, in a statement on Sunday by its Senior Legal Adviser, Bamisope Adeyanju, said the “revelation” by Atiku had underscored its findings that not less than N11trn had been pumped into the power sector since 1999 with no result to show for it.
The group recalled that its report titled, ‘From darkness to darkness: How Nigerians are paying the price for corruption in the electricity sector,” detailed how funds budgeted for electricity were “squandered by politicians and contractors under successive governments.”
SERAP demanded that the Minister of Power, Housing and Works, Mr Babatunde Fashola, should “provide information on specific names and details of contractors and companies that allegedly collected money for electricity projects but failed to execute any projects, starting from the return of democracy in 1999 to 2018.”
He added, “By publishing the names of the contractors and their registration details, if any, Nigerians will be able to hold them to account for allegedly absconding with public funds meant for electricity projects, thereby throwing the country into perpetual darkness and socioeconomic stagnation, as well as denying people their human rights.
“Publishing the names will make it hard for contractors and companies to get away with complicity in grand corruption.
“If the requested information is not provided within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request,” it said.