12 November 2014, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday outlined his goals to develop the nation’s energy industry and to create millions of jobs if he wins another term as President.
Speaking at yesterday’s Presidential Declaration event which took place at the Eagle Square, in Abuja, Jonathan said his administration signed the local content law which has increased indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry by 45 percent.
The President noted that, “In our determination to encourage much greater participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas industry, one of the first actions I took as President, was the enactment of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act. As a result of this law, indigenous Nigerian participation levels, in upstream and downstream activities of the oil and gas industry have increased by over 45%, thereby increasing employment opportunities for our youth.
“We have also succeeded in eliminating the long queues that previously characterised our filling stations, through regular and sustained product supply,” he added.
He added that expanding the gas infrastructure to ensure adequate Gas to Power and Gas to Industry, is being aggressively put in place. “Over 450km of gas pipelines have been installed over the last 3years. Another 2,000km is planned over the next 4years.”
President Jonathan said “critical petrochemical and fertilizer facilities have commenced including the gas industrial park in Delta State, for which I am scheduled to perform the ground-breaking this Friday. This will create millions of jobs and make Nigeria a regional hub.
“In addition, as a result of government favourable policies the private sector is investing over 12 billion dollars in the petrochemical sector, over the next 4years. This will surely create millions of jobs for our people.”
In terms of gas supply, he said the nation has “grown from less than 500 million cubic feet per day, 4years ago, to about 1.5 billion cubic feet per day currently. Our goal is to attain 4 billion cubic feet per day, over the next 4years.”
President Jonathan pointed out that developing energy infrastructure has been a major focus area of his administration adding that he has pursued the power sector reform to this point of irreversible progress.
According to him, “Nigeria has undertaken a most transparent and corruption free bidding process, attracting global commendation. The on-going 450MW Azura Power Plant in Edo State is a testimony to the success of this transformation.
“We have also resumed development of our Hydro-Power potential, with the construction of the 700MW Zungeru Hydro-Power Plant, while construction work on the 3,050MW Mambilla Hydro-Power Plant is about to take off.
“Our power generation and distribution companies have now been privatized. We are firmly on the road to guaranteed regular power supply in the months ahead. This our bold move, is paying off!”
He added, “We are committed to environmental protection and conservation and reducing vulnerability to climate change. In this regard, we have embarked on a number of projects across the country. Of particular note is the African Great Green Wall Programme, where we have released about 16 billion naira for implementation. The project will create a green belt across 11 states from Kebbi to Borno.”
The President therefore chided his opposition, saying their plan was to take the nation back in terms of energy development.
He said, “Do you want to go back to the old ways? We cannot go back to the old ways, where there were long queues at our filling stations due to irregular supply of products and our people were exploited.”