Vice president Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo has reiterated the federal government’s determination to address power supply so as to give a rapid boost to industrialization and as a means to solving our economic problems in terms of generating employment.
Arc Sambo was speaking when the director general of the United Nation Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Dr Kandeh Yumkella paid him a courtesy visit in his office at the state House Abuja. While commending the decision of the United Nations on power, the VP termed such decision as encouraging. He used the occasion to brief the director-general on efforts being made by the government towards the realization of the Transformation Agenda.
He noted that to address power-related issues, a holistic approach is being employed thereby developing the required synergy between power and water resources ministry.
Part of the strategies being employed, the vice president observed as noted in a statement by his spokesman Umar Sani, was the use of Public Private Partnership (PPP) avenue to develop small and medium hydro-power projects. He stated that studies have been completed for 10 hydro-power plants and 17 more are undergoing such studies and that transaction advisers are being appointed. He said Nigeria has over 200 existing dams and that the combination of water, power and irrigation will lead to boost in both small and big business
Explaining further, Arc Sambo stated that wind-to-power pilot scheme is currently on-going in Katsina for 10mw and that government is trying all alternatives sources of energy including waste-to-power to ensure a revolution in the power sector.
Other areas discussed were Transportation sector where the VP noted that government is currently diversifying in the railway sector by rehabilitating over 4,000km of railroads, the dredging of the River Nigeria, the East-West road and that studies are currently being carried out on the dredging of River Benue.
Other issues discussed include education, where the vice president noted the need to train people of proper technical background that would maintain all the infrastructure being put in place. Efforts of government on Almajirai System, free books programme and building of more universities, to meet the ever-increasing educational demands.
In the Agricultural sector, the VP harped on developing infrastructure so that the private sector will be availed with all the relevant opportunities prevalent while noting that agriculture is now a business and not a programmee as government is determined to ensure that yield per hectare is increased.
Dr Kamdeh Yunkella, who was accompanied by the Nigeria’s minister of Power Barth Nnaji expressed the readiness of the United Nation to explore the power potentials in the ECOWAS sub-region with particular emphasis on Nigeria so that the access to energy initiative, which they view as the people’s right to power supply, will be met noting that the process of power supply takes time which could be up to a decade.
The UNIDO Director-General stated further that energy revolution is planting seeds for others to continue from, which is what is obtainable everywhere in the world he enthused.
Present at the meeting where the ministers of state water resources, other top UNIDO officials and government functionaries.
In a related development, the Vice President Arc Sambo chaired a meeting to finalise the formation of the consortium for Mambilla hydro-power project which when completed will provide over 2600mw to the national grid.
The companies include Sino-Hydro and CGGC China Gezhouba Group Company Ltd, while the consulting firms are being led by TRACTEBEL Engineering-Coyne-et Beller.
Arc Sambo reiterated the need to ensure that the programme for the project as outlined and enumerated earlier be followed and that proper resettlement programme be drawn to ensure smooth and unhindered exercise, while access roads to the project site should be addressed