Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Ajuri Ngelale: On The Power Sector

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I just watched the first eight minutes of this riveting interview recorded on video. Of course I will see the rest. It is supposedly six months old already. How could I have missed it? I must however put the following views down in writing before my fury dissipates.

I did not realise that I was no longer seeing tv reporter Ajuri Ngelale on ChannelsTV. When did he join the Buhari Media Group or whatever propaganda outfit we have out there burnishing the image of our lackluster president? . I must concede that Mr Ngelale is quite a catch. He is both articulate and smooth. However that is besides the point. I am surprised that there was apparently no media backlash to these (wild?) claims made by Mr Ngelale on behalf of President Buhari and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the Siemens Group standing coolly by the side to benefit so much from our depleted commonwealth with no oversight and accountability. 

Nigeria is no Iran, North Korea, Belarus or Venezuela, or is it? An idea is not good simply because President Buhari said so. I invite Nigeria to subject this “plan” to incisive analysis. Let’s not bother yet about the Engineering. In any good day, Siemens will deliver high qualify work with pricing at the upper end of the spectrum. I recall that then presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore had also suggested a Siemens packaged solution during his campaign. Unfortunately he had mixed up the technologies he gleaned from ongoing projects in Egypt. So as not to insert myself into the contentious ongoing  campaigns, I had reached out to him privately with my objections.

Now, which world leader of an advanced economy wouldn’t want to corner the major power projects of Nigeria for the benefit of his/her people? I can’t think of any. The Chinese having wrapped up the infrastructural construction sector must be waiting in the wings for this power upgrade to fall into their laps. So must the Russians circling around Ajaokuta. And the likes of ABB in Sweden. Right now the Trump administration, is showing withdrawal symptoms due to its aloofness on the African front. Illustration, the Sephen Dowd led rebellion and upheaval at the AfDB. The matter that riles the US goes simply beyond the stewardship of Dr Akinwunmi Adesina. A few days ago, I had told a former Nigerian Minister in summary what I felt was the understandable US concern. 

“The Chinese have been cheating (read: raping) African countries. For goodness sake, that should be US.” . This is not a laughing matter.

Having revealed Buhari’s REAL PLAN for the power sector, what is there to show that the old man knows what he is getting into?  Ajuri Ngelale waxed lyrical about all the different layers of administration and oversight that would be cut out and/or sidelined. Would that be right as in constitutional? No competitive bidding? Where is the due diligence? Of course all that has been laid out here, if true, would go against every single requirement of our meticulous Procurement Process. 

Where is Engineer Emeka Ezeh? The failure of those rules to deliver value in the past has nothing to do with the rules themselves BUT with the concerted effort of all the layers of the Executive arm to undermine them. Who wants to engage in a postmortem of the Abacha/Buhari PTF?

Note that any country or large organization that exposes itself to Single Sourcing, be it Engineering Supplies, Food or Fuel is submitting itself to an avoidable hostage situation. 

Nigeria needs more Sunshine not less into the murky processes of our governance. 

Oduche Azih, 


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