Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to revamp the nation’s economy.
Osinbajo gave the assurance in a keynote address in Lagos at the first national forum on the economy organised by the Vintage Press Limited, publishers of the Nation Newspapers.
The theme of the Forum was National Economy, The Way Forward.
Osinbajo noted that government was working to tackle several factors hindering steady power supply including pipeline vandalism, abandoned gas projects and the recent destruction of the Vocados Export Terminal in February by criminals.
“At some point when the administration came into office, we were able to maintain power and it was really good, but of course of late, it has dropped.
“We intend to stabilise power supply but of course there are challenges on the way, but one of the major commitments of our administration is that we will stabilise power and supply,” Osinbajo said.
He said that the major problem in the sector was getting gas to power plants.
“We have a strong capacity, we have plants already; we have a strong capacity of up to 12,000 megawatts.
“That is to say we actually have plants that can supply 12,000 megawatts of power but the problem is getting gas to those plants,” he said.
Osinbajo said once the problems were solved, the country would be getting near stable power.
The Vice President also identified transmission as another grey area which needed to be improved.
He reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to completing all existing road projects in the country, including the Lagos- Ibadan and Benin- Ore Expressways as well as revamping the railway sector.
“We do not see any need to start any new road project because those that have already been awarded have been abandoned or not been completed.
“The strategy is to ensure that we are able to connect major cities, especially those that have direct economic value,” he said.
Osinbajo said it was necessary to have an effective rail system in order to ease the problems with movement and distribution of products.
He said that this would be the main purpose of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to China next week to tie up the intervention loans from the Chinese Government for the nation’s main rail routes.
Osinbajo said that the Chinese government was interested in paying for the Lagos-Kano and Lagos-Calabar routes which was subject to counterpart funding.
Earlier, Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State urged states and regions to leverage on their areas of comparative advantage to lift the country out of its present economic situation.
Ambode decried past governments’ inability to take advantage of the oil boom to develop the critical sector like power, solid minerals and improve Infrastructure.
He urged governments at all levels to adopt creativity, innovation and be courageous in taking tough decisions to create a stronger and sustainable economy.
Ambode said Nigeria needed to diversify by promoting agriculture, exporting cash crops to increase foreign exchange earnings.
The governor said the state, few weeks ago, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on agriculture with Kebbi State Government to supply 70 per cent of Nigeria’s Rice needs.
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