Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Corruption level in Nigeria exaggerated - Jonathan •Issues certificates to PHCN successor companies

President Goodluck Jonathan (right), exchanging pleasantries with Mr Tony Elumelu, after Elumelu received power reform transactions payment certificates on behalf of the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp), during the signing ceremony at the State House, Abuja, on Monday. With them is Vice President Namadi Sambo.IN an apparent reaction to the excitement of opposition over a reported United States (US) Congress report, which reportedly confirmed mass corruption at all levels of government in Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday, assured that such claims of corruption in the country were over-amplified.  

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) had, in a statement at the weekend, observed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the government it controlled were at the centre as a “cesspool of corruption,” following the report submitted to the US Congress by Secretary of State, John Kerry.

However, speaking at the Presidential Power Reform Transaction signing ceremony at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Jonathan pointed out that the way government business was conducted in the country had led to a reduction in corruption in the country.

Jonathan was presiding over the handing over of payment certificates to bidders who had successfully paid down the first (25 per cent) instalment of the purchase for five of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor generating companies (GENCOs).

He also gave out payment certificates to the bidders that had successfully paid down the first (25 per cent) instalment of the purchase for 10 of the PHCN successor distribution companies (DISCOs).   

Citing fertiliser distribution and the power sector, President Jonathan noted that government had since cleaned them up through various transparent initiatives that had been attested to by the private sector and, therefore, pleaded with all Nigerians to see the country as their own.

The president said the signing ceremony underscored the commitment of his administration to transparency, its renewed emphasis on inclusiveness in core transactions and sustenance of  the current tempo of transformation in the power sector.

Jonathan noted that the signing signalled a major step forward in the implementation of power sector roadmap, while commending all private sector players for their commitment to and confidence in the Nigerian economy. 

“What we have done so far and will continue to do is to set the rules of the game and act as a responsible facilitator and regulator,”  he stressed.

Jonathan assured that “this government cares about you and will not rest until you can sleep well at night without the irritating noise of generators.”

In his remarks, Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, said the government was expecting to add additional generation capacity of about 2,200 megawatts from the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) before the end of 2013.

He said the Federal Government was also investing to boost generation through the large, medium and small hydros, with total capacity of over 4,234 megawatts, which include Zungeru, 700mw; Mabilla, 3,050mw; Gurara 2, 360mw; Itsi, 40mw and Small Hydro Power, 84mw.

Nebo added that a total capital outlay of $3.4 billion was required up to 2016 to bring the country’s transmission grid to evacuate the generated power, noting that government was working out the funding of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) long term expansion plan.

In her speech, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, said the event was yet another milestone, not only in the act of executing agreements, but also a testimony to the holistic approach the administration had taken in solving in a sustainable manner, gas supply and development in Nigeria.

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