President Goodluck Jonathan has promised Nigerians steady power supply by the end of the first quarter of next year, citing government’s huge investment in power generation as the basis of his promise.
Giving the assurance, yesterday, in Ajaokuta where he commissioned the National Integrated Power Project, NIPP, 434 Megawatts Geregu II Power Station in Ajaokuta, Kogi State, Jonathan noted that no nation can be industrialised without steady power supply, adding that his administration remained fully committed to power sector development.
According to him, the commissioning was part of the programmes lined up by his administration to shore up power generation in the country, adding that despite the problems encountered in the process, the sheer determination of government had made it to remain focused on its realisation.
“Without power, no country can industrialise. If we must industrialise, we must fix our power sector. This project is part of our commitment to providing electricity to our teeming population. With electricity generation and distribution in the hands of the private sector, we are on full course,” the president said.
President Jonathan said that with the successful hand over of the companies that emerged from the unbundling of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, his government would also privatise the 10 independent power projects that are under construction, adding that a conducive enabling environment would be provided for the private sector to operate.
The Power Minister, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, also said that the project would add significantly to the national power grid, adding that with the investment made in the sector, epileptic power supply would soon be a thing of the past.
Speaking earlier, governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, praised the Federal Government for citing the project in the state, noting that it will create job opportunities for many youths in the state and also ensure power supply to many factories in the state and across the country.
He therefore called on the President to facilitate the establishment of Free enterprises zone in Ajaokuta in order to take full advantage of the Geregu plant.
He also called on the President to ensure that in the same manner the Geregu Power plant was made a reality, the Ajaokuta Steel Company should be resuscitated in order to take advantage of the available power from Geregu power plant.