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FG INVESTS $12BN ON POWER, RAIL TRANSPORT

By NBF News
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Sambo, Vice President
The Federal Government said on Thursday that it has so far invested about $12 billion (N1.8 trillion) on tackling the problem of power generation, supply and distribution as well as the rejuvenation of the nation's moribund rail transportation system.

Vice President Namadi Sambo disclosed this to the Nigerian community in Burundi, shortly after the inauguration of Pierre Nkurunziza, the Burundian President, in Bujumbura, adding that the President Goodluck Jonathan's administration was doing everything within its powers to reduce poverty in the country.

'The administration of President Jonathan is doing everything to ensure that we drive out poverty from Nigeria, to transform our society and improve our economy', Sambo said. He said the emphasis of the government was to address squarely the power supply problems in the country.

According to him, 'We are doing a lot in the real sector, we are doing a lot in the power sector to ensure that power supply is addressed with seriousness. The government is investing over $10 billion in the generation, transmission and distribution in the power sector to attract direct foreign investors with emphasis on medium and large power plants as well as coal power plants.

'The government is putting a lot of efforts in developing our transport system. The railway is being rejuvenated. Our old railway system is being brought back to use and new ones are being built. Over N2 billion is being invested in that area.'

The Vice President pointed out that because of the premium placed by the Jonathan administration on water transportation, the government has embarked on the construction of ports in major cities across the country adding that the River Niger is being dredged.

He said the government was carrying out a lot of developmental initiatives, especially in the areas of education and security noting that the police is being improved with a view to effectively perform its constitutional responsibility to the nation.

Sambo also told the Nigerian community that the government has earmarked about N1.6 trillion for the complete overhaul of the police disclosing that the three tiers of government as well as the private sector would provide the fund.

He said with the focus of the government, the target of Nigeria becoming one of the greatest economies by the year 2020 was guaranteed.

On the forthcoming 2011 general elections, Sambo assured Nigerians that the Federal Government was determined to ensuring a free and fair election where everybody's vote would count: one man one vote.

In the same vein, Sambo has urged African leaders to partner with the rest of the world to develop the continent, as no one would do it for them.

The problem of Africa should be solved by African, he said, adding that what African leaders should be doing is not to continue to rely on donation and support from the international community but to partner the rest of the world to tackle the problems of the continent.

'We want partnership and investments and that is what we are driving at', he said.

According to him, since the majority of the countries in Africa were celebrating their 50 years of independence, it behoves on the leaders to devise means through which development can be attained in the continent.

The Vice President appreciated the Nigerian Technical Aid Corps personnel in Burundi thanking them for their effort to assist in the development of that country. He also appreciated the Head of Nigerian Mission in Burundi, Mr. Sheidu Omeize Momoh and his staff for projecting the positive image of Nigeria in the country.

Earlier, the Head of Nigerian Mission in Burundi Momoh thanked the Vice President and his entourage for finding time to visit the Mission. He solicited the assistance of the Vice President to assist the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to acquire a Mission building in the country.