Buhari: We are targeting 5,000mw electricity daily


Buhari debateIn spite of the improvement in power generation, the President said yesterday that his administration is targeting 5,000 megawatts daily by 2016.
This is even as he said Nigerians in the Diaspora had to wait before they could vote from their bases abroad. President Muhammadu Buhari said certain logistics must be put in place before they could exercise their voting rights.
The President said there were ongoing efforts to complete some power projects so as to lay the foundation for 10,000 and 15,000 megawatts in subsequent years.
Nigerians living abroad, the President, said can benefit from their skills and exposure to build a thriving economy.
He also affirmed his administration’s commitment to protect the rights of law-abiding Nigerians in their various countries of abode.
He stated these at the 2015 Diaspora Day held at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja with the theme: “Diaspora and Nigeria Change Agenda.”
Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, he, however, assured that the government will build a reliable data base of the population of Nigerians living abroad as a critical step to harnessing the gains for national development.
He stressed that legislation, huge finance, and confidence in the electoral system were required before diaspora voting can commence.
He said: “We are also aware of the importance of voting rights of Nigerians abroad. But to achieve this, the National Assembly will have to legislate. Diaspora voting is in Nigeria’s future.
“Because obviously, there is a lot to be done including building confidence in the Nigerian electoral process. The skills and planning required in planning a number of national election in an atmosphere of continued suspicion of each party is a major challenge by itself.
“Our electoral process is evolving and as greater confidence is built in the institutions and processes associated with it, we may then create voting opportunities for our citizens abroad in the not too distant future,” he said.
Buhari stressed that his administration was building a new Nigeria that requires the support and participation of all, including Nigerians in the Diaspora.
He said, “Permit me to take this opportunity to interrogate the place and role of Nigerians abroad in the Change Agenda of the Buhari administration.
“This is because we have embarked on the building of a bold new Nigeria and we need all hands on deck.
The President also said that efforts were on to complete a variety of outstanding power-related projects in order to lay the foundation for 10,000MW and 15,000 MW subsequently.
Buhari said the government was pursuing a long overdue reform in the hydrocarbon industry and reorganizing the NNPC and holding the officials accountable for past revenue losses.
He said government would improve the local refining capacity to reduce the over 37 per cent of foreign exchange applied to the importation of refined products.
In agriculture, he said a programme of self-sustenance was on in the production of rice, wheat cotton so as to reduce foreign exchange requirement for importation.
He said rice importation alone gulped about $4 billion annually, adding that seven rice producing states were working with the Federal Government to map out the pathway to self-sustenance in rice production within 30 months.
Efforts, he said, are on to return all garment and textile factories to full production capacity within the shortest time possible.
He said to address youth unemployment, government would invest in infrastructure, technology, agriculture and mining while the one-meal-a-day programme for primary schools would also create many jobs and business opportunities.
The President said that government would implement social intervention schemes to make no fewer than 110 million extremely poor Nigerians to participate in the new Nigeria.
Buhari’s administration was convinced that the nationals abroad could participate in the change agenda with their 15 millions population with about four million in U.S. and Canada and about one million in London.
He said: “Besides, the financial remittances from Nigerians abroad have well reached an estimate of over $20 billion in 2014.
The President said the proposed Diaspora Commission, if signed into law, would open a new chapter and create the platform for engaging Nigerians abroad and allowing their expertise to permeate the entire country.
Speaking with State House correspondents after the conference, former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said it was critical for the present administration to establish a Diaspora Commission to enhance relations with Nigerians abroad and facilitate diaspora voting. -The Sun


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