President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians of a significant improvement in electricity service supply reliability and delivery this year, 2020. In a message titled: “a letter from the president at new year Nigerian’s decade,” Buhari raised the hope of ensuring fiscal sustainability in the power sector, increased government and private sector investment in power transmission and distribution.
He promised improved payment transparency through the deployment of smart meters and effective regulatory actions to maximize service delivery. To achieve this objective, the president said there will be further liberation of the sectors to eliminate lingering outages and gas shortages, stressing that the power sector inadequacy has been a major drawback for the country’s economy over the years with the problem becoming almost intractable. He said: “power has been a problem for the generation.”
“We know we need to pick up the pace of progress. We have solutions to help separate parts of the value chain to work better together.
“In the past few months, we have engaged extensively with stakeholders to develop a series of comprehensive solutions to improve the reliability and availability across the country. “We have in place a new deal with Siemens, supported by the German Government after German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited us in Abuja, to invest in new capacity for generation, transmission and distribution.
These project will be under close scrutiny and transparency-there will be no more extravagant claims that ends only in waste, theft and mismanagement. “The next 12 months will witness the gradual implementation of these actions, after which Nigerians can expect to see significant improvement in electricity service supply reliability and delivery.”
We want to believe that President Buhari’s New Year promise on electricity is not out of place considering the fact that stable electricity supply was one of the campaign promises of the president and his party in 2015. That it is taking the president more than four years in government to put in planks for actualizing this stated objective is unfortunate.
Daily Nigerian Horn believes that the issue of steady electricity supply in the country is achievable. It only takes a strong political will to actualize it. Having said that, Nigerians would believe the president that his New Year promises would not be a mirage. For one, Mr President if his statement could be believed, will not be aiming for a third term in office, so every promise must be taken in its pure context.
We would, however, warn that liberation of the sector will never be the ultimate solution without the president putting his feet down to ensure that his instructions are carried out to the letter. Only then Nigerians believe in the President’s New Year promise.