From Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan came a bold declaration yesterday: that Nigerians will no longer use generators for their industrial and private power needs by this time next year.
Speaking in Kaduna at the inauguration of a production line for Peugeot 306 Sedan, Jonathan reisterated that Fed-eral Government is putting necessary machinery in place to meet all its targets in the power sector, beginning with the generation and distribution of 6,000mw scheduled for December.
He said Federal Govern-ment’s plan to re-stimulate the manufacturing and transport industries in the country is anchored on the provision of key infrastructure such as power, railway, roads and waterways, as well as creating a positive environment for investment to thrive.
He said in view of the current global economic meltdown, the government has set up a committee to interface with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in to arrive at concrete intervention measures across different sectors of the economy.
He added: “To this end, submissions from scores of organisations have been received and that will aid the committee in determining specific responses to their peculiar situations. In addition, government has taken cognizance of the need to support local industry by galvanising Nigerians to tie their purchasing power to national interest.”
Jonathan commended the management of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) for sustaining production even in the face of growing challenges that have beset the automobile industry in the world.
Earlier in his speech, Governor Namadi Sambo of Kaduna State said the steady growth of PAN had been a source of joy and pride to the government and people of the state.
He said being the largest private employer of labour in the state, PAN has contributed immensely to the development of the local and state economy.
He however, urged the management to device means of reducing the cost of production and cost of the car to make it affordable to generality of Nigerians.
In a welcome address, the Managing Director of PAN, Dr. Haroun Aliyu, said the 307 Sedan is the first product initiated and executed under the new Nigerian management of the company.
He said despite huge challenges, the management has introduced an elaborate plan to return the company to production peak recorded in the 80s. He however appealed to governments, corporate organisations and individuals to patronise the company's products with a view to making it compete.
Jonathan’s promise of stable electricity came on the heels of a similar promise by Minister of Power, Dr. Rilwanu Babalola, who disclosed at the weekend that the power currently being generated in the country has increased to 3500 megawatts, maintaining that the 6000 megawatts target for next month is realisable.
Babalola was speaking during a working tour of Geregu Gas Turbine Power Plant in Kogi State.
The minister said: “Steady power supply is not magic. It can only be achieved through hard work and that is why I am still paying working visits to power plants on weekends to see things for myself in to have first hand information on all the factors and challenges facing them because the government cannot afford to fail on its promise to Nigerians.”http://www.thisdayonline.com/nview.php?id=160580