08 July 2013, Lagos – Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Salihu Modibo Alfa Belgore, has said a document that could be described as the master key and solution to Nigeria’s electricity challenges is missing.
Belgore said the electricity master plan was painstakingly prepared before the nation’s independence and submitted to the then government of the day.
This is the second of such sensitive and important reports that would disappear mysteriously in the country. The first was the Okigbo report which the Federal Government claimed it was unable to trace.
Justice Belgore, who disclosed this in Minna at the weekend during the wedding reception of Aminu Eri, son of the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute, NJI, retired Justice Umaru Eri, said if the report was found and implemented, the nation should have been generating up to 42,000 megawatts of electricity, instead of its current 4,000 megawatts.
According to Belgore, the report, called NADECO report on energy, was completed and submitted to government in February 1959, but was stolen from government, with all the 300 copies printed vanishing into the thin air.
He said no Nigerian Head of State or President has been able to trace a copy of the very important and significant report, adding that a former university don, who later became the Minister of Power during the current political dispensation, claimed ignorance of the report at the Vision 20-20 committee meetings during the regime of General Sani Abacha.
He said, “Nigeria would have been producing 42,000 mega watts of electricity if the report on power from 1959 had been implemented. But currently, we are producing only 4,000 mega watts, which is not enough for the nation.
“This is because the report on NADECO was not implemented; this report was stolen. There were more than 300 copies of the report missing. The Ministry of Mines and Power did not know about it, even former presidents did not know about it, no one knew about this report.”
He lamented that major rivers and dams in the nation were not been used to maximum capacity towards generating enough electricity for the nation, adding that government needs to build some dams on the major rivers in the country, particularly on River Niger and River Benue.
“We are supposed to have a lot of hydropower dams in Nigeria. We have Rivers Niger and Benue and other rivers in the country. Jebba Dam was built out of River Niger; there is supposed to be one dam in Makurdi, but there is none,” he said.
Belgore added that though the current government is doing its best to improve the power sector, it still needs to do more, while commending President Goodluck Jonathan for the ground breaking of 700 mega watts of Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant project.
“The report for the Zugeru Power plant project has been lying idle for more than 50 years until it was recently commissioned by the president to be built. If other dams in the report are turned to power plants, Nigeria would be one of the greatest countries in the world. Even our enemies will not be able to stop us,” he said.
The former CJN said all hands should be on deck to ensure that Nigeria stands tall in the comity of nations, adding that, “There is nowhere in Africa that is like Nigeria. I’m not exaggerating.”
Dignitaries at the wedding include former governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, Colonel Afakiriya, former Military Administrator of Kogi State; Chief Judges of Oyo, Kogi and Niger states, Justices of Supreme Court and Court of Appeal and eminent legal luminaries.
– Daily Newswatch