Power: How Realistic Is 10,000mw By 2019? | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Power: How Realistic Is 10,000mw By 2019?

Posted: May 11, 2016 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

By Ayodeji Ajayi

 Outspoken immediate past Governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu did not surprise Nigerians with discerning minds the other day when he aptly described Nigerian politicians (including himself of course), as liars.

Incidentally, in this particular regard, Aliyu was right, especially judging by the fact that Nigerian politicians, irrespective of political, religious, ethnic or cultural inclinations, are birds of the same feather. This is why they have no permanent political enemies. In essence, what binds them together, which they effectively use to deceive the millions of helpless and hapless docile poverty-stricken citizens, are their insatiable selfish interests. It is for this reason that Nigerian politicians go to any extent to tell the gullible citizenry blatant lies in order to win elections.

Nigeria    the Giant of Africa and currently, Africa’s biggest economy, is presently in a pitiable socio-economic state in spite of its enormous human, natural and pecuniary resources, largely due to flagrant mismanagement of such endowments over the years by liars pretending to be leaders.

Since the return of democratic dispensation in Nigeria on May 29, 1999, unfulfilled electoral promises by politicians and political parties have not only dashed the hopes of the citizenry but have also considerably stalled the growth and development of the country. This is why mixed feelings have been trailing President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent promise that his All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government would achieve a target of 10,000 megawatts of electricity supply by 2019.

Unlike many Nigerian politicians, the president is neither a politician nor a liar. His track records over the years, as well as his unalloyed integrity are enviable sterling qualities that make him stand out of the maddening crowd of liar-leaders. However, what has government put in place to achieve this highly ambitious feat by 2019? I recall with profound nostalgia that since 1999, this will not be the first time government would promise to attain 10,000 megawatts of electricity supply.

Sometime in 2009, the administration of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, amidst pomp and pageantry, boasted that electricity supply would peak at 10,000 megawatts by December 31, 2009. As at the time the then ailing Yar’Adua died on May 5, 2010, the target was not achieved as it turned out to be one of those unfulfilled promises, lies or political gimmicks of politicians ahead of crucial general elections. It would be recalled that as at the time the promise was made, it was less than a year to the 2011 elections. When Dr. Goodluck Jonathan succeeded Yar’Adua as president, his administration also promised in 2013 to increase electricity supply to meet the increasing demand of consumers across the country. But as usual, due to ill-preparedness and insincerity on the part of government and its corrupt officials, the lofty target of 10,000 megawatts of electricity supply by December 31, 2014 repeatedly orchestrated by the then Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, was not achieved after all.

Incidentally, like Kuchi, the then Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, also assured frustrated electricity consumers at various fora that government would increase electricity supply to over 5,500 megawatts by the end of 2013 and 10,000 megawatts by the end of 2014. However, this was not to be.

Since the President Muhammadu Buhari administration assumed duty 11 months ago, the knotty challenge of deteriorating electricity supply has been dangling dangerously over the government’s head like the Sword of Damocles. Like the President, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has promised that electricity supply would peak at 10,000 megawatts by 2019. The Vice-President, Mr. Yemi Osinbajo has also assured that government would achieve a target of 7,000 megawatts within the next 18 months.

But the president and his lieutenants should be reminded that this will not be the first time electricity consumers would be promised 10,000 megawatts of electricity supply. Since 2009, successive Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ruling administrations had failed to achieve the target of 10,000 megawatts of electricity supply. This is why the governing APC should make a remarkable difference and let there be a departure from the past ugly experiences millions of electricity consumers were subjected to during the past 17 years. The president should realize that as the head of government elected into office based on its change mantra, he cannot afford to disappoint the millions of electricity consumers whose business activities are being adversely affected by the lingering epileptic electricity supply across the country.

The question that is currently agitating the minds of the generality of electricity consumers in Nigeria is: Was the attainment of 10,000 megawatts of electricity supply by past administrations jinxed? From all indications, the president’s integrity in this particular matter is seriously at stake. Is he ready to muster the political will, and even if necessary, step on powerful toes to ensure that the age-long mystical, human and spiritual obstacles militating against uninterrupted electricity supply in the country are finally crushed? It is a big shame and also saddening that the most populous black African country that aspires to be ranked among the most leading 20 economies in the world by 2020 is still battling with a target of 5,000 megawatts of electricity supply in 2016.

Nigerians will not accept untenable excuses if the sitting government fails to achieve 10,000 megawatts by 2019. This is why all hands should be on deck to ensure the target is met. It is also hoped that the promise is not a political gimmick by government ahead of the 2019 decisive elections?

Comments (1)

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