*Says over $20bn investment has brought “darkness, misery and resignation” among Nigerians
29 May 201, Sweetcrude, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has said careful studies are already under way to identify the quickest, safest and cost-effective way to ensure adequate and stable power supply to Nigerians.
Buhari, who made the remark in his inaugural speech on Friday in Abuja shortly after taking the oath of office at the Eagle Square, stressed that no single cause can be identified to explain Nigerian’s poor economic performance over the years than the power situation.
“It is a national shame that Nigeria spent close to 20 billion dollars on power in 16 years only generate 4,000MW of electricity.
“It is a national shame that an economy of 180 million people generates only 4,000MW, and distributes even less.
“Continuous tinkering with the structures of power supply and distribution and close to $20billion expanded since 1999 have only brought darkness, frustration, misery, and resignation among Nigerians. We will not allow this to go on,” he added.
The new President noted, “We intend to attack the problem frontally through revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining as well as credits to small and medium size businesses to kick – start these enterprises.
“We shall quickly examine the best way to revive major industries and accelerate the revival and development of our railways, roads and general infrastructure,” he said.
The president said that careful studies are under way during this transition to identify the quickest, safest and most cost-effective way to bring light and relief to Nigerians.
Buhari promised to ensure that there is responsible and accountable governance at all levels of government in the country.
According to him, “At home we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns.
“We are going to tackle them head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.”
Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer and leading economy, deriving more than 70 percent of government revenue from crude sales.
Plunging oil prices have caused a cash crunch that has left thousands of civil servants unpaid and pushed the naira currency to historic lows.
Buhari and his All Progressives Congress Party have pledged sweeping change, particularly in job creation, electricity supply and insecurity.
But with the public coffers in tatters, Buhari’s ability to deliver on campaign promises may be limited in the short term.