Iraqi official says Maliki’s government wasted $1 trillion of Iraqi funds

Bahaa al-Aaraji expressed the importance of having a strategy for public services

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Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs, Bahaa al-Aaraji, said the former government of Nouri al-Maliki has wasted around $1 trillion of public funds.

“The former government (of Maliki) has wasted around $1 trillion. $800 billion came from Iraq’s oil budget since 2004 till 2014 while $200 billion came from donations and aid,” Aaraji told reporters on Friday according to a report by Asharq al-Awsat.

“There are no final accounts to know how these funds were spent and there are also no projects or any achievements that can show how this money was used,” he added.

Commenting on the recent Iraqi protests over poor services and power outages, Aaraji expressed the importance of having a strategy for public services and said former Iraqi governments' lack of strategy is what led to the deterioration of services.

“Former governments did not have a strategy in regards to establishing power plants, maintaining their quality or securing distribution of electric power.

The previous government of Maliki (which governed for eight years) did not have a strategy regarding investment and didn’t even believe in it. This is in contrast to us because we’ve currently begun investment projects in several governorates,” Aaraji said.

He said “the only problem which Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi faces is that he wants to work but no one stands by him or backs him up.”

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