Saturday, July 26, 2008

NEPA when will it be over

I never stop to wonder what goes through the minds of Nigerian leaders when they visit other countries where public utilities work. I know that power outage is a continentwide problem in Africa, but the magnitude differs considerably.
Nigeria's is perhaps the worst. The irony is that the country has all it takes to fix the power problem. But it just keeps worsening by the day. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo reportedly spent $10 billion trying to fix the problem, but at the end of the day, the situation became worse than it was in 1999 when he took over power.
I have just visited Lagos again and I am confronted with perpetual darkness. Streets terribly dark in the night providing safe havens for criminals. President Yar'Adua, I believe that tackling the power problem is the biggest good you can do to Nigeria and Nigerians.
I've observed this past year and nothing but complains about the perceived weaknesses of your predecessor has dominated discourse at the national assembly. The legislators seem to derive great excitement in villifying Obasanjo. I think they need to get down to business. Enough of bad-mouthing of OBJ. It is time to work. Nigeria would not make significant economic progress unless the energy problem is tackled. The new government has a golden opportunity to remake Nigeria. My hope is that it is not further deformed at the end of the day. Lagos, alone needs nothing less than 8,000 megawatts. For the whole nation to be hovering around 2,000 to 2,500 megawatts, shows it is not yet ready for development. If the government is serious of making Nigeria one of the top 20 economies by 2020, it's time to walk the talk by fixing power.
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