Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year 2008 in my Life

God has been good to me I will be ungrateful if I say otherwise.

Psalm 139:13-18 (New International Version)

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to [a] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

God has been good I will be totally ungrateful if I say otherwise

For me, the year 2008 was simply mind blowing. I saw God did the impossible for me. Yep, I had some disappointments and I made some grave mistakes but the scripture above sums up the way I feel about God and how he saw me through the year 2008.

I had alot of expectations in the year gone by, I thought I would be married by now and expecting my baby. Yep, it was one of my prayer points in 08 (others came to pass) but alias it didn't happen. God has remain God and I sure will not fret over that matter.
I got recognised and commended from quarters beyond my imagination, my family members have remained intact despite the threatening challenges (though I lost my cousin in July and my Aunt has been struggling back to life after suffering stroke), I had opportunity to attend three programmes outside the country all paid for, above all I am alive (lost two dear friends, Brig. Gen Giwa Amu in February and Chris Nwachukwu on December 11), well and lacking nothing. So quit worry and trust God completely.

There is an old saying that goes, "Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened". This essentially means that there is no use crying over split milk. You cannot turn back time and do things that would benefit you. Accept that some days you are the pigeon and some days you are the statue. New year is the time of new beginnings. It is time to start afresh and do things that would make someone else smile. Make a pledge to make at least one person happy. You will see the difference it can make in both your lives. The essential message of New Year is let go off the past and embrace life as it comes to you. You will be happier and merrier that way.
Who am I? Where am I from? What can I do? Where am I going? Dear Friend, as you step into 2009, these are fundamental questions I will want you to reflect and ponder on. As you arrive at the answers, God helping you, begin to take little steps towards where you are going to. No matter how little these steps may be, be rest assured that you will gain some significant grounds in no time and attract the right persons that will motivate and assist u towards where u are going. With a consistent focus and progressive efforts towards where you are going, frivolities, fantasy, and those things "that so easily beset us" will have no space in your priorities, because you will be pre-occupied with the pursuits of your destination goals. What more can I say but to wish u bountiful success in 2009. Happy New Year

This daily declaration worked well for me in 2008 and I am taking it over to 2009

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!
Today, I declare and confess that I am filled with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. I boldly declare that I dwell in the secret place of the most High and my family and I are safe. I believe and I declare that no evil shall befall me neither shall any plague come near my dwelling place. I believe and I declare that I shall not die but live to declare the works of God.
Today and in 2009, the Lord is my helper and I shall not be afraid of what man shall do unto me. Today, I shall not waste my destiny and I shall not roam in the market square of life.
Today, the Lord shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I decree and I confess that there is no lack in my life, family and ministry because Jehovah God is my Shepherd. Yea, I decree and I declare that the Lord is my banner and He shall fight my battles into victory. No weapon formed against me shall prosper and God’s word is life to my flesh. I shall not waste my resources on sicknesses and in my life and pathway, there is no death. I shall excel in this day and I shall walk in favour beyond measure. The days of my labour are over and the days of my favour are born. I shall not drink the water of affliction and losses shall be far from my dwelling place.
Today, I hear the sound of abundance of rain and I hereby declare that there shall be a rain of Jubilee and Mercy on my life, family and ministry. I shall eat the good of the land and I shall be honoured. As I go out today, I declare that Christ in me is my hope of Glory. I therefore reject shame! My generation shall get the best from my life and ministry. I shall not die till I am accomplished. I decree and I declare that I am making a difference in the world and I am thankful to God. I shall not be a part of the wasted generation. I shall be revealed and I shall manifest as a son
of God to my generation. As I sleep, my hidden talents are revealed. As I awake my hidden talents are manifested. I am a great success story and I am a blessing to this generation. So help me God!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In Berlin

Hi folks,

I am away in Berlin for two full months. Now it promises to be very interesting as far as multimedia and online journalism is all about.

It's been an engaging class with colleagues from Vianem, Afganistan, Jordan, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Pakistan and of course Nigeria.

Incredible what one can do on the internet.

Anyways that will not prevent me from keeping taps of happenings back home and so far it is not so good.

New ID Card Scheme to Gulp N30bn

Hi folks,

Are we in trouble or what? Is a N30 billion ID card scheme what we really need now or to fix problems like the one the Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, is raising alarm about. He has warned that if something Is not done urgently, the River Niger Bridge in Anambra State may collapse soon.
Moddibo the other day was busy selling an abuja boulavard when housing is a problem, the power sector reform we really do not know the direction. I am indeed very worried.

Though it took his visitation by the Senate AdHoc Committee probing the utilisation of fund in the Transportation Sector for him to reveal this. But Baba-Ahmed, who was at one time Permanent Secretary in the Works Ministry, knows what he is saying when he stressed that the bridge was being poorly maintained.
Back to the ID card scheme expected to commence by the end of the year, the N30bn according to the Director-General /Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr. Chris Onyem-enam, is expected to be used to upgrade the National Identity (ID) Card management scheme in the country to an international standard to create a national identity database.
The previous identity card scheme alleged to be riddled with fraud and which led to the removal of the former Minister of Internal Affairs, late Chief Sunday Afolabi, cost $215 million (N25.155billion). The project was handled by Sagem SA of France.
The national identity card scheme hitherto implemented by Directorate of National Civic Registration (DNCR) under the Ministry of Interior, has been transferred to NIMC. DNCR metamorphosed to NIMC following the repeal of the Act, which established DNCR last year and its assets and liabilities transferred to NIMC.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja at a pre-event on the forthcoming National ID Card Management Conference (another wastage venture) billed for between September 21 and 23 in Abuja, Onyemenam said the N30 billion is an estimated cost as the Commission had not taken into consideration the existing infrastructure inherited by NIMC from DNCR.
He said when the ongoing audit was completed; the total cost of the identity card scheme might be reduced.
Onyemenam, however, said the cost of the biometrics project is expected to be borne by the Federal Government and the private sector under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
He confirmed that already, the Federal Government had picked two consultants for the project (Iris One-CardSecure Consortium and Chams Consortium) to operate the front end of the project.
He was optimistic that the new state � of - the - art infrastructure that is expected to be built would provide a platform for effective management of the National ID card in the country.
Onyemenam expressed optimism that the new scheme would solve the problems of multiple registrations in the country as it would become the only instrument for identification in places such as hospitals, banks, embassies and others requiring identification.
The new scheme, he added, would make registration less cumbersome as registration would be decentralised and would become a daily activity.
Throwing more light on the plans of the scheme, the Director-General said: �Another infrastructure upgrade has to do with the creation of a secure National Identity Database with necessary authentication and verification infrastructure and full business continuity support so that it would be easy for anyone from anywhere within Nigeria to prove or assert his /her identity.
�Accordingly, to achieve this objective, the Commission is focused on expanding, extending and enhancing existing identity infrastructure and where necessary exiting obsolete technology and processes in order to establish a reliable, secure and scalable identity management system infrastructure that utilises advanced biometric technologies to uniquely identify every individual in the country.
�This strategy is what we have code- named 4Es through, which we ultimately hope to deliver in partnership with the private sector, a National ID Management System infrastructure upgrade that is consumer focused and sustainable,� he explained.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nyako: Yar’Adua, PDP Wade in

From Juliana Taiwo in Abuja, 06.26.2008 (THISDAY Newspapers)

president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have waded into the move by the Adamawa State House of Assembly to impeach the state Governor Murtala Nyako.
PDP National Chairman Vincent Ogbulafor, who led the party leadership to a meeting yesterday with President Yar’Adua at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on the matter, said the impeachment move had been taken care of.
He described the problem between the House and the governor as a family affair.
“It is the party that intervened and we have solved the problem. It is a family affair and it’s been taken care of. We only went to brief the President what we did and the President is happy with the party. The governor and the Speaker are one and the same. Everything is over and we are happy,” he said.
The PDP Chairman described the allegations of the state legislature against the governor as “shallow” and according to him, arose from a mere misunderstanding which is normal in politics.
“The allegation is shallow. I think it is shallow but its just a misunderstanding which is normal in any administration. Politics is not like religion but even in religion they disagree, in church they disagree so there is bound to be disagreement.
“We listened to both parties and where there is need to apportion blame we did and both of them saw where they made mistakes. Nobody is above mistakes”, he said.
But the meeting may have ended in a deadlock.
The body language of the state House of Assembly Speaker James Barka and the moves by Ogbulafor and National Secretary Abubakar Kawu Baraje to sneak Nyako away from the press appeared to suggest all was still not well after the meeting.
Both men, the embattled governor and Barka, emerged from the two-hour meeting wearing long faces.
After the meeting, the Speaker walked away and it took repeated calls by Ogbulafor to have him reluctantly walk back to speak with State House correspondents.
When asked if he was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, the unsmiling Barka answered in the negative, saying he would have to brief his colleagues first before making further comments on the issue.
“No. We have had a meeting and the chairman has said it all and I will meet with my members”, he said before walking away.
The meeting was adjourned so the Speaker would brief his colleagues on the decisions reached and thereafter return for another round of consultation to be presided over by Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan in the Presidential Villa but no date was fixed.
Nyako, on his part, kept mute despite repeated questions posed to him by reporters.
He however said he had reached out to the state House of Assembly.
On whether he saw the hand of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar or former governor Boni Haruna in his impeachment move, he replied: “Do you mean physical hand or…” and walked away.
The Adamawa State House of Assembly had on Monday served Nyako an impeachment notice.
The governor was alleged to have committed 16 impeachable offences.
Nyako was returned to the governorship seat last April after a rerun poll.
In the six-page impeachment notice tabled before the House by the Deputy Speaker Aliyu Isa Ahmadu and signed by 20 of the 25 members of the assembly, the governor was accused of gross misconduct in the performance of his official duties and other unconstitutional acts.
In the notice of impeachment, Nyako was accused of obtaining a loan of $50 million or N6 billion with a repayment regime of 34 months at N248 million net per month.
This, according to the impeachment notice, amounts to N8,432,000,000, which has allegedly subjected the state to an unnecessary financial burden.
Nyako is also accused of unilaterally obtaining the loan without the assembly's approval as required by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to the notice, the lawmakers said: "The interesting part of the loan is that the financier, the consultant and contractor for the projects selected for execution with the money is one and the same."
The assembly identified the company involved as Messrs SNECOU Group of companies Ltd, "a company with a share capital of only N1 million."
The lawmakers said the company did not have the capacity to handle such a transaction involving large sums of public money.
"There is also no evidence that the money was paid into any account which the Adamawa State Government operates. Meanwhile, repayment of the money has already commenced since May 2008 at the rate of N248 million per month," they said in the notice.
Nyako was also accused of obtaining another loan from a second generation bank to the tune of N5 billion with a repayment rate of N457,211,021.49 million per month.
The assembly disclosed that both loans were procured without the authorisation of the House contrary to Section 120 (2) (3) and (4) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
The governor was also alleged to have frozen the account of Mayo Belwa Local Government Council in the state.
This, the legislators insisted, took place with little regard for due process.
The legislators also accused the governor of authorising illegal deductions from the joint accounts of local governments thereby starving them of funds which they were to deploy in implementing their projects for the benefit of the people.

Strike: Yar’Adua, Aja-Nwachukwu Meet over Teachers’ Pay

From Juliana Taiwo in Abuja, 06.26.2008 (THISDAY Newspaper)

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua yesterday met behind closed doors with Minister of Education Igwe Aja-Nwachukwu to find a lasting solution to the lingering problem between the teachers and government over the payment of the harmonised salary across the states.
President Yar’Adua, THISDAY gathered directed the minister to explore all avenues to ensure that the looming strike was averted.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) had on Tuesday fixed Tuesday July 1 for the commencement of an indefinite nationwide strike by all primary and secondary school teachers.
But Aja-Nwachukwu later declared that day that the Federal Government had agreed to implement the Teachers salary Structure (TSS).
Addressing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Minister of Communication and Information John Odey in company with the Minister of Health Hassan Lawal, however, reiterated that the Yar’Adua administration as a responsible one was willing to negotiate with all the stakeholders to ensure that there “is amicable resolution of the problem.”
“I shared your sentiments and as a responsible government, we are very very concerned about the welfare of workers, be they teachers or other workers. The case of the teachers’ demand is being looked at holistically,” Odey said.
He disclosed that negotiations were going on at all levels but warned that it would be impossible for the Federal Government to take decisions for the states and local governments on a uniform salary structure for the aggrieved teachers.
“Consultations are on with states and local government areas in order to arrive on a common solution that will cut across boards and not just in the federal schools alone,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) chaired by President Yar’Adua, has approved N331,824,047.10 for the completion of the laboratory complex at the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) Idu, Abuja, abandoned since 1996.
Odey said the contract which was the only major decision taken at yesterday’s meeting was awarded in favour of Messrs Atidolf Nigeria Ltd with a completion period of 24 weeks.
He said the construction work of the laboratory complex was a five-storey block laboratory office, space, library and conference hall, adding that the need to complete the building and the significance to the expansion of the services and activities of the institute could not be over-emphasised.
“The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Idu is the centre for various pharmaceutical research works.
“Through research conducted at the centre, a lot of control measures have been instituted in the prevention of sickle cell anaemia, malaria, hypertension, diabetes etc.
“The scope of work required for completion of the laboratory complex include replacing the roof covering that was blown away by storm, plastering, metal and structural steel works, furnishing, external works, electrical works, glazing, painting, decorating laboratory fittings and fixtures, passengers lifts etc,” he said.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gambari Wants 90-Day Truce from Militants

From Juliana Taiwo in Abuja, 06.25.2008 (THISDAY Newspapers)

Chairman of the Steering Committee on the Niger Delta Summit, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, has called on militants in the area to declare a 90-day truce to give the committee as well as next month’s summit the benefit of the doubt to bring lasting peace and development to the region.
Gambari, who addressed State House correspondents after his meeting with President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday said his committee would reach out to all stakeholders with legitimate inputs to be made.
“Let us prove ourselves, judge by the results of our action and the process that we are going to put very much in place,” he said.
The United Nations (UN) envoy stated that the summit would be different from previous efforts because it would address the issue of the Niger Delta comprehensively.
He said it would also look at all aspects, the issue of decades of neglect, poor physical infrastructure, poor social infrastructure, education, health and environmental degradation.
According to him, the perception or the reality of marginalisation and economic development, particularly employment for the youths would be addressed.
He called on Nigerians to see the summit as a national issue rather than one organised by the Niger Delta for the Niger Delta, adding that the summit would comprehensive and address issues holistically.
“We hope to do a very good job because we want this summit to be different from the previous summits. We want a summit that will address the issue of the Niger Delta comprehensively, looking at all aspects, the issue of decades of neglect, poor physical infrastructure, poor social infrastructure, education and health, environmental degradation.
“This is a national summit, all Nigerians are stakeholders in the issue of the Niger Delta. It is not a Niger Delta problem, it is a national issue that manifests itself in a particular way in the Niger Delta and for durable solution. All of us Nigerians will have to be regarded as stakeholders.
“Beyond our shores, we also have the international dimension to the Niger Delta situation because for those of you following the event, you know that when you have an issue in the Niger Delta, it immediately reflects itself in the global oil prices which is therefore of concern to countries in our region and also even beyond.
“There is also the issue of small arms and light weapons and the militarisation of the area which further complicates the issue and we also add the national security dimension.
“So, that is the assignment. It is an honour and privilege as a Nigerian to be given this opportunity. Though we are yet to be inaugurated, I thought I should let you know that the process of consultation has started; is advancing and we hope at the end of the day we will produce a national summit that Nigerians will be proud of. The neigbouring countries will be happy with and international community will take due note,” he said.
On those to expect at the summit, Gambari said the committee would reach out to all stakeholders, both local and international, before reporting back to the President for the summit proper.
Reacting to criticisms of his choice as chairman of the committee, Gambari said it was the Nigerian government that asked for his release by the UN, having seen his mediating roles in both Myanmar and Iraq.

Power: Lukman Proposes Suspension of Privatisation

...Estimates $85bn needed to achieve 20,000mw by 2020
From Juliana Taiwo in Abuja, 06.25.2008 (THISDAY Newspapers)

The Federal Government should halt the privatisation of the power sector until necessary repairs are carried out in the existing infrastructure, the Power Sector Reform Committee headed by Honorary Adviser on Energy to the President, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, has proposed.
Lukman, while submitting the committee’s final report to President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in company with Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, said: “We feel that it is highly important that the coordinating body in the PHCN be put in place. The privatisation of the successor companies should be suspended until the finalisation of these repairs and viability status is sustained.”
Preparatory to the privatisation of the sector, the former administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo had unbundled the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) into 18 successor companies to handle generation, distribution and transmission, while Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) was incorporated to take over “stranded” assets and liabilities of the defunct NEPA.
Lukman was however silent on the fate of the 18 successor companies since they have already been “corporatised” – having been registered as independent companies at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
This recommendation for a new co-ordinating unit may also raise legal issues since the 18 companies are already corporate bodies on their own.
The committee also said Nigeria needed $85 billion (about N10.2 trillion) to meet her 20,000 megawatts electricity target by 2020.
It said the sum would be expended on the ailing sector in the next 12 years in order to achieve government’s short, medium and long-term target as contained in the Power Sector Masterplan.
He, however, was quick to add that this amount did not include another N301.3 billion that would be required for the immediate rehabilitation of gas infrastructural development to enhance adequate gas supply for the generation of the targeted megawatts.
He said 60-70 per cent of the country’s electricity requirement would be dependent on gas, while the remaining are hydro, coal and solar.
Lukman warned that while gas-related electricity accounts for about 70 per cent of total requirement, unless there was peace in the Niger Delta, the nation’s quest for adequate power supply would be a mirage.
All forms of privatisation in the sector should be suspended until Nigeria achieves a healthy power sector, the committee recommended.
The breakdown of the figure shows that of the N10 trillion, a total of $3.5 billion (about N411.1 billion) is to be sourced to solve the sector’s immediate problems and generate 6000 megawatts under the short-term plan which would last for the next 18 months.
For the medium-term plan, the committee is proposing the total amount of N434.3 billion to beef up total electricity generation to 10,000 megawatts which equates current demand.
This will be implemented in the next three to five years, while the long term plan which stretches through another six years, is expected to consume the balance of the whole sum.
The committee lamented that currently only 40 per cent of Nigerians are serviced by the PHCN, but the remaining 60 per cent are expected to be taken care of at the end of the medium-term plan implementation.
The committee advised government to consider emergency power generation in selected urban areas with a view to deploying it whenever there is a sudden drop from the national grid.
It said the facility could also be relocated from one city to another or even to the rural areas as soon as the situation improves in the cities.
While it recommended government’s immediate approval of the implementation of the short-term plan, it warned that gas supply and the Niger Delta where it is produced are the most crucial ingredients and aspects of the power generation in Nigeria and most therefore be given priority in public expenditure.
Assessing the current state of the country’s reforms in the sector, Lukman disclosed that gas supply is the single most important element of Nigeria’s adequate power supply, followed by maintenance.
He said the country had gas deposit that could sustain her power generation for over 150 years but decried the current indebtedness of PHCN of N14 billion to gas suppliers.
The committee also uncovered that while an average of N20 billion is required monthly for the settlement of PHCN retirees, 37,000 are workers in the utility’s employ as against the verified number of 22,115 staff by consultants.
He said 90 per cent of them do not contribute meaningfully to productivity as they lack professional training.
President Yar’Adua, while thanking the committee for a job “well done”, declared that with the submission of the report, his government would immediately proceed to work out the package for both the short, medium and long-term plans for the proposed declaration of a state of emergency in the sector.
He reiterated that the power sector remained the immediate priority in the government’s resolve to meet the vision 202020 target, adding that government would immediately examine the report and its recommendations with a view to implementing them without delay.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the presentation, Lukman said: “We decided that we are going to define the stages based on what is achievable. For the short term, our aim is to optimise, stabilise and maintain the existing systems. There are a lot of megawatts that could be gained. We also believe by so doing, the capacity of generation can be raised to 6000mw. We also understand that currently, the transmission network cannot raise more than 4000 conveniently, so because of that, transmission and distribution network must be added to the system. The short term plan is 18 months, from now to December 2009.
“For the medium term, we feel that something tangible must be achieved within the lifetime of this administration, the first term. Within three years, we can beef up the current demand which we projected as 10,000 mw. This is achievable.
“After that, we look at the long term. Then we look at 2020, what is achievable. These are the ways that we came out with the short, medium and long-term, considering what is practically achievable, and what is also reasonable.
“For any plan, there must be general assumptions that would guide the way we go about the plan.
“The existing stations would continue to be maintained as at when due. If you do not maintain what you have started with, you are going to go backwards. The Federal Government would release timely funds, the FG would complete all NIPP projects. There must be assurance of adequate supply of gas, there must be no vandalism of power transmission and gas pipelines. For the medium and long-term plans to be achieved, the short-term plan must be successfully completed. These are the assumptions.
“Short term plan is primarily designed to address the immediate shortfalls both in generation and transmission capacity to achieve 36,000mw daily power. What we understood is that as long as these maintenance works are not started, more and more units are going to breakdown. So the first thing to do is stop the rot.”
He also emphasised the importance of optimising the new power stations, so that the three new stations at Geregu, Omotosho and Osun Oshogbo could be fully operational.
According to him, “The grid is very weak, many of the equipment currently are causing power cuts across the country because they are old, they have not been maintained properly and they are aging. We also need to expand the distribution network to accommodate the new power that is coming, and the old power that had been there.
“If all is done, we are assured of 7365mw, but we are only working on ensuring 6000mw by December 2009 because we are still on transmission.
“The communication, control and signalling systems within the grid are all very old and very unreliable. At the end of the short-term what is required in terms of funds to complete the short term is $3.5 billion.
“Medium term is a very interesting phase because by that time, we are going to have new stations started by this administration and we are about completing all the NIPP projects. We believe it is time we start bringing other sources of energy into the mix for energy security. We also hope to start seeing the IPPs coming to complement what the government is doing.
“Three major introductions, one, the introduction of other sources of energy, more hydros, coal and some renewables, because we included some solar and wind power to be experimented. Then the IPPs, more joint ventures coming in. Hopefully by that time the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) would have raised the economy to a level where people can come in and feel convinced that the investment is right.
“Finally, in the long term, it is hoped that the private sector should at least equal whatever investment government is making in the power sector. It is our belief that, rather than trying to sell the few little ones that are available, people should add more because Nigeria needs more megawatts. It is better the sector is all open; there are a lot of opportunities for everyone. By 2020 the private sector should be the leaders in the sector, the opportunities are there. For the private sector to come into this industry, most of them should go into gas.
He said the committee projected that wind and solar would have contributed 200mw. “So much more again have to be spent, in terms of constructing of transmission lines and substations and this one is purely government responsibility according to the current policy.
“The same thing with distribution. Distribution networks can be privatised with time; individuals can construct distribution networks and connect them to the grid. This is still allowable. And this could relieve government a lot in the sector, it is very feasible. There is a lot of private money that can go into distribution networks.
“Between now and 2020, we projected that we need to spend about close to $85 billion to be able to realise our dream. This is money that can come from all sectors. This does not include money required for gas infrastructure, which would also be massive.
“The plan here is for power, but there would be required a sort of equivalent gas infrastructure for them to be able to service all these thermal stations that are going to constitute about 6-7 per cent of the requirement. It is nearly also about eighty something, or ninety something million US dollars.
“Based on the submission we received from the NNPC, this is just for the short to medium-term. This money has to be spent between now and 2009 to be able to address those shortfalls, because without spending this, those shortfalls would be more because they would not be able to provide the infrastructure required for the gas supply to the power stations.
“The overall priority of government should be to arrest the decay in generation which is currently below 3000mw by optimising the use of existing assets.”