The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, has said all the 11 power plants being constructed by the Federal Government will be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2014.
Maku stated this on Monday while fielding questions from journalists after the Peoples Democratic Party stakeholders’ meeting in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
He said seven out of the power plants had so far been completed, while efforts were being intensified to complete others before the end of the first quarter of 2014.
The minister said the Federal Government had completed 150 out of the 220 injection sub-stations being constructed to stabilise and hold the power to be generated.
Maku further explained that the privatisation of the sector would enhance efficiency in power delivery as was witnessed in the telecoms sector.
The minister noted that the Federal Government deserved commendation for completing the plants in two years, adding that electricity generation would double in the next few years.
“It is almost magical for the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to have achieved this feat in just two years; this is a clear indication of his commitment to deliver on power,” he said.
Maku pointed out that the present administration had done far more than any previous administration in the country.
He, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to be patient with the administration, pointing out that there would be a lot of improvement and stability in the power sector before the end of 2014.
Maku said the media was under reporting the achievements of the government.
He said, “It is unfortunate that the media is focusing more on personality rather than discussing development.
“The media should focus more on progress and on the achievements of the government irrespective of political party platform in the interest of the people.”
He added that the government needed support and the media had the responsibility to report progress “so that you don’t fixate yourself with politics.”
“Politicians will want to undermine tangible achievements because they will want to come in, but the reality of what the Jonathan administration is doing is very clear and deserves to be reported,” he said.
Meanwhile, the President has given an assurance to Nigerians that they will soon begin to enjoy the benefits of the privatisation of the power sector with the successful conclusion of the sale of the generation and distribution companies.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, quoted the President as saying this while granting audience to a delegation of the Anioma Peoples’ Congress led by the Asagba of Asaba, Prof. Chike Edozien, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday.
Jonathan confirmed that all the successful bidders for the power generation and distribution companies except one had completed the payments required to complete the process, which he said was conducted in conformity with globally acceptable standards and best practices.
He said, “We are fully conscious of the centrality and importance of adequate power supply for our developmental efforts. We have challenges in the sector but we are constantly working to overcome them.
“We are currently in a transition phase in which the sector is being positively transformed. The sale of our generation and distribution companies is almost concluded. Finally, everyone has paid and in the shortest possible time, our power sector will take on a much more positive life of its own for the benefit of all Nigerians.”
Jonathan said his administration remained fully committed to significantly improving national infrastructure and would continue to work on rapidly developing railway links, airports, seaports, roads and other transportation services in the country.
“We are glad that you appreciate what we are doing. We will continue to work very hard so that Nigerians in all parts of the country will feel the positive impact of our efforts to accelerate national development and progress,” he said.
Responding to the delegation’s request for his support for the creation of Anioma State and for the next governor of Delta State to emerge from Delta North if Anioma State did not become a reality before 2015, Jonathan reportedly said such political matters did not depend on him alone.
Edozien, on behalf of the delegation, thanked the President for the commencement of work on the Second Niger Bridge and the approval of a cargo terminal at the Asaba Airport.
The group also praised the President’s handling of the country’s security challenges.
“We are glad that you have tenaciously carried on with your development strides in spite of distractions. We believe you should be given all necessary support to forge ahead and we assure you of our full support if you decide to seek a second term in office,” Edozien told the President.