Monday, March 21, 2016 12:05 pm
The varied jokes Nigerians make of the parlous situation in the electricity sector have resonated to Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja .
President Muhammadu Buhari admitted much at the retreat of the National economic Council which opened in Abuja today. But he wants the joke to end by the end of his tenure in 2019 as he promised to boost power supply to 10,000 megawatts and solve a myriad of teething problems affecting uninterrupted supply.
“Nigerians’ favourite talking point and butt of jokes is the power situation in our country. But, ladies and gentlemen, it is no longer a laughing matter. We must and by the grace of God we will put things right. In the three years left for this administration we have given ourselves the target of ten thousand megawatts distributable power. In 2016 alone, we intend to add two thousand megawatts to the national grid,” President Buhari told the retreat.
The president acknowledged the problems plaguing the sector, post privatisation, such as constant power cuts destroying economic activity and affecting quality of life, High electricity bills despite power cuts and Low supply of gas to power plants due to vandalization by terrorists.
He also mentioned the Obsolete power distribution equipment such as transformers, Power fluctuations, which damage manufacturing equipment and household appliances and Low voltage which cannot run industrial machinery.
“These are some of the problems, which defied successive governments. In our determination to CHANGE we must and will, insha Allah, put a stop to power shortages”.
He urged the National Electricity Regulatory Commission to ensure consumers get value for money and over-all public interest is safe-guarded in the hands of the private power companies.
He also promised that his government would fast-track completion of pipelines from Gas points to power stations and provide more security to protect gas and oil pipelines and encourage power companies to replace obsolete equipment and improve the quality of service and technicians.