CITIES'LL HAVE 24-HOUR ELECTRICITY SUPPLY BY 2013 -JONATHAN
President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday promised that quite a number of cities in the country would begin to enjoy uninterrupted power supply by June 2013.
He said the feat would be achieved by the time all ongoing power projects initiated by his government were completed.
Jonathan spoke in Islamabad, Pakistan, while answering questions during an interactive session he had with members of the Nigerian community living in the country.
He said, 'We have (power) projects that are going on; so, before the end of the second quarter, that is almost middle of next year, most of these projects would have been inaugurated and we will be evacuating and that time; quite a number of cities will begin to have 24-hour of light.
'When we get to that point, you will see that small scale enterprises will begin to make returns, and that is the way we can create jobs.'
The President said generation was no longer responsible for the problems being faced by the country in the area of electricity supply.
He said the major challenge was the transmission of the generated power.
Jonathan said the nation's power plants currently had about 1,000 megawatts of electricity that could not be evacuated because of problems related to transmission.
He said, 'We have intervened robustly in the power sector, and if you call back home, they will tell you that power is improving, and we have promised that we will stabilise power supply.
'Currently, we are generating more than what our transmission capability can evacuate. We have over 1,000MW of power that we cannot evacuate because of the transmission infrastructure that has been weak over the years, and very recently, the government started the intervention.'
He had earlier said Nigerians would soon begin to enjoy direct flights to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan during a bilateral talk between him and his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Zardari, in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The talk was held shortly after Jonathan arrived Pakistan for the summit of Heads of State and Government of the Group of Eight Developing Nations (D-8).
At the bilateral meeting, the two leaders agreed to energise the Nigeria-Pakistani Joint Commission.
They also agreed that once re-energised, the joint commission would promote trade relationships between the two countries and lead to the signing of a Bilateral Air Service Agreement.
The agreement, they said, would translate into direct flights between the two countries.
While admitting that a lot of cooperation existed between the two countries in the area of security, the leaders identified air services and banking as areas that needed more attention.
At the meeting with Nigerians living in Pakistan, Jonathan said his government had done a lot in improving all the sectors of the country.
He assured them that when next they visited the country, they would be impressed by the level of achievements recorded by his government.
The President, however, regretted that the devastating floods recently recorded in many parts of the country drew his administration back.
He said the floods stagnated developmental works, especially in the areas of giving a facelift to the nation's airports, and provision of good roads, among others.
Jonathan said notwithstanding the temporary setback, significant changes had been recorded and a lot more ground would have been covered by December 2013.