Last updateMar, 27 Jan 2015 11am

Media: Jonathan and Boko Haram, tackling power problems reported

Lagos, Nigeria - President Goodluck Jonathan's charge to the newly-appointed military chiefs to end insurgency and government's desire to tackle the crippling power problems were the major stories in Nigeria this week.

The NATION headlined its story on Jonathan's order as 'Jonathan to Service Chiefs: Don’t disappoint Nigerians', reporting that President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday charged the new service chiefs to do all within their power to end insurgency in the country, saying they should not fail Nigerians.

Decorating the new service chiefs with their new ranks at the State House, Abuja, Jonathan insisted that the security agencies cannot go to sleep until Nigerians in Borno State and other parts of the north can sleep.

Boko Haram and other violent groups have continued to operate in the north by killing and maiming hundreds of Nigerians in the last few days.

The war against terror in the country, Jonathan said, must be won.

The PUNCH treated the story with a similar headline 'B’Haram: Don’t sleep, Jonathan warns service chiefs'.

According to the paper, President Goodluck Jonathan told the service chiefs “We will be having very positive talks from time to time, but definitely, Nigerians will tell you, what they expect from us, we must not fail this country and I believe this team will work together to be assisted by other intelligence services because the war against terror must be won.”

While saying that he was convinced that he had selected the best team at this time, the President advised them not to disappoint him and other Nigerians.

'Boko Haram: No more sleep for us until… - Jonathan tells service chiefs' was the headline of the SUN.

Speaking on behalf of the new service chiefs, whose appointments were confirmed by the National Assembly, the new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Alex Badeh, assured that they will not disappoint Nigerians, the PUNCH reported.

Badeh pledged their unalloyed loyalty to Nigeria, stressing that the security challenges in the northeast are not insurmountable.

Those decorated with their new ranks were the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Usman Jibrin; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu.

On the electricity problems in Nigeria, The PUNCH headlined its story 'Power: Govt targets $10bn new investments', reporting that new hydro power generation plants and transmission projects under the phase two of the National Integrated Power Project are likely to attract over US$10 billion fresh investments into the power sector.

Quoting sources close to the Nigerian National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) transaction, the PUNCH reported that the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) was expected to provide a counterpart funding of about US$3.4 billion, while the private sector would provide the balance.

The project, according to the NDPHC, involves the construction of two large and one medium hydro power plant, and the construction of hydro power plants on 13 existing medium and small dams in various parts of the country.

The NDPHC, in an advert last week, said the project would also involve the construction of critical infrastructure across the country to enhance the wheeling capacity of the national grid.

The third arm of the project, the NDPHC said, involved capacity building for the NDPHC project management team.

The Managing Director, NDPHC, Mr. James Olotu, had in January said the new projects would be implemented under the second phase of the NIPP, which had been approved by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government conceived the NIPP in 2004 to stabilise electricity supply in the country and the NDPHC has successfully built 10 new power plants.

To increase the nation’s power generation capacity, the NIPP plants are being put up for sale for the divestment of the government’s 80 per cent.

The sale process commenced with road shows in Lagos, London and New York, while 368 bidders have emerged for the sale of the 10 power plants.

The NDPHC had said proceeds from the sale of the 10 power plants under the NIPP would be spent on new hydro power stations and the electricity transmission grid.

The VANGUARD treated the same story with the headline 'Power sector needs fresh $50bn investment – Aganga'.

It quoted Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investmen, as saying that a further US$50 billion investment is expected to go into the Nigeria’s power sector in the next few years following the successful completion of privatisation of the sector.

Speaking at the 2014 Standard Bank West Africa Investors’ Conference in Lagos, Aganga said that for the first time in Nigeria’s 53-year history, the country successfully privatised the power industry and is bringing in capital, technology and operational excellence into the sector.

He noted that the theme of the conference, “Nigeria: Time to Deliver’, is a call to action, a statement of great expectations, an acknowledgement of the great potential across the length and breadth of our country, even as he said that power has been the bane of businesses in Nigeria, and was left unaddressed for many years.

He added, “As a result, 11 distribution companies and four generation companies have been privatised, for over US$3 billion; other generating plants in the National Integrated Power Projects Programme will also be privatised soon. These electricity assets were physically handed over to private owners on 1 November, 2013.

“But privatisation is just the beginning in Nigeria’s power sector, as we now have a pipeline of approximately US$50 billion of investments lined up to go into the Nigerian power industry in the next few years.”

Aganga noted that given the abundant investment opportunities in Nigeria, the country would remain one of the leading high growth and high returns countries globally.

He said in order to achieve sustainable inclusive economic growth and diversification; the Federal Government has already embarked on far-reaching sector-specific reforms to address the challenges inhibiting competitiveness of local businesses across all sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Pana 09/02/2014