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Independence: We’re resolute on power sector reform

…Targets 2022 for completion of current key infrastructure

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said his administration remains committed to tackling power sector reforms, in its bid to ensure stable, uninterrupted power supply.

This is just as the President said his administration will deliver the first set of its key critical infrastructures by 2022

He listed the infrastructures to include the Mambilla Power Plant project, as well as key economic road infrastructure such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge and Abuja-Kano Expressway, adding that “ the first set of these projects remain on track to be completed by 2022.

He disclosed that government efforts to improve the power sector will complement other infrastructure investments projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.

The President in his nation wide Independence Day broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 59th Anniversary, stated that the Presidential Power Initiative, launched in August is aimed at modernizing the National Grid in 3 phases, to raise electricity supply from “ 5 Gigawatts to 7 Gigawatts, then to 11 Gigawatts by 2023, and finally 25 Gigawatts afterwards.

Federal government is banking on its partnership with the German Government and Siemens, to provide end-to-end electrification solutions that will resolve the current transmission and distribution challenges.

The President stated that the program looks to localize the development and assembly of smart meters as well as the operations and maintenance capabilities of transmission and distribution infrastructure.

“I am pleased with the improved inter-agency collaboration between the Ministry of Power and the regulators in the banking and power sectors to ensure that electricity sales, billings and collections are automated and become cashless.

The assurances are coming against the backdrop of consistent epileptic power supply, despite the huge investments into the sector.

He noted that the collaboration will help to ensure that the technical and collection losses in the sector are substantially reduced.

“I remain confident that Nigerians will have affordable and uninterrupted electricity supply in the not too distant future”

The President reiterated that the journey to food security and self-sufficiency is well underway.

“We shall sustain these policies to ensure additional investments are channeled, thereby creating more jobs in the sector. We must not go back to the days of importing food and thereby exporting jobs”

“Our commitment to achieving macroeconomic stability and economic diversification, has been underscored by the merger of the Ministry of Finance with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

“With this, our revenue-generating and reporting agencies will come under much greater scrutiny, going forward, as the new performance management framework will reward exceptional revenue performance, while severe consequences will attend failures to achieve agreed revenue targets.

 Speaking on the recently constituted Economic Advisory Council EAC, the President said the Council will advise him on inclusive and sustainable macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary policies.

The body is expected to work with relevant Cabinet members and the heads of key monetary, fiscal and trade agencies to ensure we remain on track as we strive for collective prosperity.

He noted that his government is “also committed to ensure that the inconvenience associated with any painful policy adjustments, is moderated, such that the poor and the vulnerable, who are most at risk, do not bear the brunt.”