The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has said the six months nationwide power supply stability order issued by President Goodluck Jonathan a fortnight ago to managers of the country’s electricity system will not be changed for whatever reasons. Nebo said in a statement in Abuja that nothing would be left undone in meeting up with the president’s desire to ensure adequate electricity supply to all Nigerians. He added that the government has gone ahead to compliment its efforts in improving on-grid power generation with the initiation of off-grid power supply sources within the “operation light up rural Nigeria” programme of the ministry. While admitting that a lot more still needed be done to meet up with this expectation, the minister assured Nigerians of continued improved electricity supply until government’s aspirations for constant power eventually come to reality. He said government’s immediate goal was for those already getting 12 hours of electricity supply to move up to 14 hours, others with 14 to enjoy between 16 and 18, while major cities like Lagos and Abuja will get between 22 and 23 hours supply daily. The minister informed that the target would be achieved within a few months time, adding that the ultimate goal was for Nigerians to get 24 hours of daily power supply. He noted that though the plan would still take some time, it would be realised, with the foundation already laid by government for increased generation and enhanced transmission and distribution of generated power across the country. While condemning activities of saboteurs, who he said had upped their ante in a bid to suppress the progress made in the industry so far, Nebo said: “For instance, it was unthinkable for any Nigerian, for whatever reason to go underground into the deep sea and blow up gas pipelines to stop gas flow to electricity generating plants, such as recently happened in the Escravos-Warri axis, where more than 20 holes blasted with dynamites were discovered in such pipelines buried under the sea.” According to him, the level of expertise employed by the perpetrators, suggested the amount of work and the high-profile nature of their operation and wondered why Nigerians would decide to punish themselves and their families in that manner. While justifying its initiation of the ambitious project of “operation light-up rural Nigeria” that is currently being commissioned across the country at intervals, the minister stated that the vision of President Jonathan has not stopped at giving electricity to city dwellers, but to ensure that it got to all the nooks and crannies of the country where residents never dreamt of seeing electricity in decades. “Mr. President gave us a marching order. He said he wants electricity to even be taken to places not connected to the national grid. Of course, before this administration nobody was talking about that. You had to just wait until there was national grid before you had electricity. Now, the game has changed,” Nebo said.
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