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Nigeria: Corruption - Jonathan Disagrees with U.S. Assessment of Nigeria
Source: Allafrica, by Muhammad Bello and Chineme Okafor, http://allafrica.com/stories/201304230613.html
Source Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Country: Nigeria
Created: Apr 24, 2013

Against the backdrop of a report by the United States of America that there is deep-seated corruption in the country, President Goodluck Jonathan Monday reacted to the report, stating that the recent US appraisal of corruption in the country was skewed and unrealistic.

This is just as the president promised that Nigerians must have electricity for domestic and industrial use despite the challenges of obsolete infrastructure and sub-standard corporate delivery.

According to him, the level of graft, hitherto described by the US report as "massive" was overblown and did not reflect the spirited efforts being made by his administration to tackle the issue, saying "there are issues of corruption in this country but somehow it has been over amplified."

US Secretary of State John Kerry last week had submitted a new report entitled, "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012" to the US Congress.

In the document, which gleaned information from US embassies and consulates abroad, foreign government officials, non-governmental and international organisations, as well as published reports, Nigeria was found to be steeped in "massive, widespread and pervasive corruption" in "all levels of government and the security forces."

But Jonathan yesterday debunked this at the Presidential Power Reform Transaction Signing Summit held at the State House, Abuja, pointing out, instead, that corporate companies of US origin continued to show interest in doing business in the country having given it a clean bill of health regarding the manner in which the problem of corruption was being handled by the incumbent administration.

Buttressing his point, he said even during the privatisation of the power utilities created from the unbundling of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), some US companies, which partnered various local firms that had clinched the deals, were satisfied with the zero tolerance of the present administration to corruption and decided to be veritable business partners of the country.

US companies involved in the federal government's power reform and privatisation programme are General Electric (GE) and ExxonMobil.

GE, the president said, was in partnership with Transcorp for Ughelli Power Station; Honeywell Hudson Power and others presented a Joint Development Agreement on the power sector development; while Mobil in association with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and on behalf of the international oil companies (IOC) had signed a Sellers Representative Agreement (SRA) for an independent power project (IPP).
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