The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammad on Friday highlighted some positive steps President Muhammadu Buhari has taken in the past one year.
Mohammed said the steps have placed Nigeria on an irreversible road towards sustainable development.
He insisted that Nigeria has never witnessed so many positive steps being taken in so short a time as Buhari has done in the past one year.
The Minister stated this in a press conference in Abuja to mark the first anniversary of Buhari’s second term.
According to Mohammed: “The past one year has been momentous for Nigeria, as the President has taken some actions, mostly bold and highly visionary, that has now put Nigeria on an irreversible road to sustainable development. Never in the history of Nigeria have so many positive steps been taken in so short a time as Mr. President has done in the past one year.”
In the area of power supply, Mohammed said Nigeria has been positioned to experience constant electricity supply, following an agreement between Nigeria and German company, Siemens in July 2019.
He said the current amount of power that reaches consumers will be more than double by the end of next year, adding that thousands of job will be created and will leapfrog the country into the next level of industrial and social development.
“It will be an understatement to say that inadequate power supply, hallmarked by regular blackouts, has stifled Nigeria’s economic development. It is perhaps the single most formidable obstacle to the country’s economic development. But, following an agreement with German company Siemens in July 2019 to boost power supply in Nigeria, the stage is set for the perennial power problem to become a thing of the past. Under the three-phase agreement, Nigerians will enjoy 7,000 megawatts of reliable power supply by the end of 2021 (phase 1), 11,000 megawatts by the end of 2023 (phase 2) and 25,000 megawatts in the third phase. To put things in perspective, Nigeria’s current power generation capacity is more than 13,000 megawatts, but only an average of 3,400 megawatts reliably reach consumers. In essence, the current amount of power that reaches consumers will more than double by the end of next year. In addition, this will create thousands of jobs and wil leapfrog the country into the next level of industrial and social development.
“This is how Mr. President sums up the agreement: “Our goal is simply to deliver electricity to Nigerian businesses and homes. My challenge to Siemens, our partner investors in the distribution companies, the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the electricity regulator, is to work hard to achieve 7,000 megawatts of reliable power supply by 2021 and 11,000 megawatts by 2023 – in phases 1 and 2 respectively. After these transmission and distribution system bottlenecks have been fixed, we will seek – in the third and final phase – to drive generation capacity and overall grid capacity to 25,000 megawatts.”
On the issue of border drill, the Minister said Buhari took a bold step to put Nigeria on the path to food sufficiency, by stopping the flow of illicit arms into the country and improve national security.
He said: “Mr. President did this by ordering a border drill (which many have called border closure) as part of measures to secure Nigeria’s land and maritime borders. The border drill, code-named EXERCISE SWIFT RESPONSE, involves the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), in collaboration with the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) as well as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and other security and intelligence agencies. The drill is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).”
He noted that the border drill has led to food sufficiency, reduced smuggling, enhanced security, increased revenue reduction in illegal migration in Nigeria.
The Minister commended the President over the new visa policy.