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Osinbajo says Power sector privatisation irreversible



FG shifts target on school feeding programme

The Federal Government has insisted that the on-going privatisation in the power sector is irreversible.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo stated this on Thursday in Lagos on at The Nation’s First Economic Forum, adding that experience has shown that government is not known to be good managers of businesses.

The Vice President, who used the occasion to outline government’s position on job creation, the power situation and a myriad of other burning issues, including infrastructure, said what happened to NITEL and Nigeria Airways, were enough example to prove that government should not be directly involved in the running and management of businesses.

He said the government will sustain the privatisation of the power sector, while it continues its push for the provision of gas to power the existing power generating plants. He stated that the country has in excess of 12,000Megawatts of installed generating capacity, but regretted that it has just about the chance of wheeling only about 5,000Megawatts. He pointed out that much investment is required to provide the transmission infrastructure to transport the excess to the end users.

“Even if we transmit the 5,000 megawatts currently generated, over half of it will be lost because of inadequate infrastructure,” he said.

At the event hosted by the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, and attended by Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, a representative of Ogun State Governor, Bimbo Ashiru and the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, who stood in for Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the Governor of Oyo State, Osinbajo declared plans by the Federal Government to create 800,000 jobs for graduates and other middle level job seekers.

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He said 500,000 of the jobs would be for graduates, while 300,000 is targeted at artisans and other category of the workforce, adding that the economy would need to grow by over 10 per cent per annum to be able to absorb this number of jobs on offer.

The Vice President also said the Federal Government’s focus is on the completion of on-going projects. He mentioned the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Benin-Ore road, as among 33 roads the government has scheduled for completion, disclosing that government is not considering starting new projects at the moment.

On rail development, he said the federal government is in the process of completing the Abuja-Kaduna rail line, adding that the Lagos-Kano rail and the Lagos-Calabar rail are among top priority projects of the Muhammadu Buhari government.

Osinbajo, who sympathised with Nigerians over the harrowing experience they’ve gone through on the lingering fuel scarcity, said government is pushing for co-location of refineries  to the existing ones to increase refining capacity, adding that the building of railway lines would be intensified to increase volume movement of goods and petroleum products at reduced cost.

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