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Sunday, 31 May 2020

As President Muhammadu Buhari begins the second year of his last tenure, Nigerians are to witness unprecedented boost in agriculture, power generation and a general improvement in major facets of governance across the polity, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, boasted.

Lai Mohammed, who addressed a press conference in Abuja to mark the beginning of the second year of the second term of Buhari’s Presidency, pointed out that the administration had justified the mandate it got from Nigerians and was moving to break new grounds and consolidate on projects and programmes already being carried out.

Key amount the projects being showcased by the administration, is the ambitious power improvement scheme, which the administration intends to use and significantly boost power production and the $1.2 billion cash funding of agriculture in the land. The minister said: “The past one year has been momentous for Nigeria, as the President has taken some actions, mostly bold and highly visionary, that have now put Nigeria on an irreversible road to sustainable development. Never in the history of Nigeria have so many positive steps been taken in so short a time as Mr. President has done in the past one year.

“As we begin the second year of the second and last tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, I want to inform Nigerians that the stage is set for the implementation of the greatest agricultural revolution in the history of Nigeria. The unprecedented recent approval by the Buhari administration to inject $1.2b in in-kind loan into the agriculture sector through the government-to-government bilateral loan from Brazil, with support from Deutsche Bank and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit of the Islamic Development Bank, will revolutionize our agriculture at scale. In the same vein, the minister said the country would witness and unprecedented power boost arising from the agreement recently sealed with the German firm of Siemens for the improvement of power generation in the country. “Top on the list is power or electricity if you wish.

It will be an understatement to say that inadequate power supply, hallmarked by regularly blackouts, has stifled Nigeria’s economic development. It is perhaps the single most formidable obstacle to the country’s economic development. But, following an agreement with German company Siemens in July 2019 to boost power supply in Nigeria, the stage is set for the perennial power problem to become a thing of the past.

Under the three-phase agreement, Nigerians will enjoy 7,000 megawatts of reliable power supply by the end of 2021 (phase 1), 11,000 megawatts by the end of 2023 (phase 2) and 25,000 megawatts in the third phase. To put things in perspective, Nigeria’s current power generation capacity is more than 13,000 megawatts, but only an average of 3,400 megawatts reliably reach consumers. “In essence, the current amount of power that reaches consumers will more than double by the end of next year. In addition, this will create thousands of jobs and will leapfrog the country into the next level of industrial and social development. Quoting President Buhari, Lai Mohammed said, “Our goal is simply to deliver electricity to Nigerian businesses and homes. My challenge to Siemens, our partner investors in the distribution companies, the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the electricity regulator, is to work hard to achieve 7,000 megawatts of reliable power supply by 2021 and 11,000 megawatts by 2023 – in phases 1 and 2 respectively.

“After these transmission and distribution system bottlenecks have been fixed, we will seek – in the third and final phase – to drive generation capacity and overall grid capacity to 25,000 megawatts.”

About IWIN

The Independent Energy Watch Initiative (I-WIN), an enterprise of Energy ConServ and the Roundtable for the Growth and Development of Power (RODEP), is an online/web based power sector portal that strives to engage stakeholders and the Nigerian public on topical issues in the power sector.

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