PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN'S REMARKS ON THE PRESIDENTIAL POWER REFORM TRANSACTION SIGNING SUMMIT, AT THE STATE HOUSE, ABUJA ON 22ND APRIL, 2015.
1. I would like to warmly welcome all of you, our friends and partners, to this important signing summit of the Presidential Power Reform Transaction.
2. To underscore our government's commitment to transparency, our renewed emphasis on inclusiveness in core transactions and sustain the current tempo of transformation in the power sector, it became imperative that the meeting be publicly held here, instead of doing it in the confines of the offices of the transacting parties.
3. Today’s event signals a major step forward in the implementation of our Power Sector Roadmap. I congratulate the signing parties for reaching this significant target in our collective efforts to revitalize this sector, which is so important to our lives and development. I must also commend all private sector players for their commitment to and confidence in our economy. Your zeal and presence here today, is an ample proof of your endorsement and confidence in the implementation and progress so far, of our power reform Agenda.
4. I can assure you that in spite of daunting challenges, we will not waver in the commitment that has seen the fundamentals of our economy advancing, compared to several economies around the world. We continue to command prime attention as a preferred long-term investment destination in Africa and our electricity sector, in particular, maintains its promise of reasonable returns on investment and ease of entry, for all interested investors.
5. I must acknowledge that since I effectively kick-started the power reform agenda in August 2010 with the launching of the Power Sector Reform Roadmap, and bearing in mind the scale and complexity of our power sector, considerable progress has been made.
6. The Presidential Action Committee on Power (PACPL) has provided a viable platform for the required focus on the priority policy issues needed to reinforce confidence among investors. Today, we are encouraged by the sustained interest in the sector and the meaningful investments that have been prompted in gas processing, power generation, power distribution and transmission.
7. I am certain that the high value projects signed today and previously, will impact positively on the rest of the power sector, and the overall national economy. This would also go a long way in boosting the growing market confidence in the power sector.
8. Our driving role as a government will be pursued with greater determination and we will continue to follow through on the policies, guidelines and regulatory structures required to ensure the steady growth of the market. We must remember that in the telecommunications and banking industries, where there have been exponential changes and beneficial expansion, the complex web of trading regimes evolved out of the ingenuity of the market participants themselves.
9. Government will therefore, not design the market structures for the Nigerian electricity industry. 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.
10. Government institutions such as the National Council of privatization (NCP), Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE), National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Nigeria Gas Company, Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) and even the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria (GACN) are merely to work with all potential investors and create the pathway for them to deal transparently amongst themselves.
11. To fellow Nigerians, my dear brothers and sisters, this age long problem of inadequate power supply will be brought to an end. We are dealing in a very dedicated way with much overdue infrastructural and corporate upgrades, and despite the challenges, we are making steady progress each day, towards permanent and lasting correction. Nigerians must have electricity for domestic and industrial use and there is no turning back and there is no relenting.
12. This Government cares about you and will not rest until you can sleep well at night without the irritating noise of generators. Let me reassure all Nigerians, that working in concert with our partners, we will continue to pursue the reform of the Power Sector with intensity, vigour and determination; there is no shortcut possible.
13. This is a significant event. I call on all sector agencies to redouble their efforts, sustain their vigilance, and increase the level of cooperation and synergy amongst themselves required for the earliest completion and delivery of the structures and services, that will meet the needs and expectations of our population.
14. Nigerians deserve the best and we cannot afford to offer less.
15. I thank you.