Wednesday, 21 August 2013

APC promises 40,000MW to stop power outage pains

APC promises 40,000MW to stop power outage pains

by: Yusuf Alli, John Ofikhenua, and Chioma Onyia

PROGRESSIVES rolled out their rescue plan for “near-permanent-trauma” Nigeria yesterday.
On top of the All Progressives Congress (APC) 31-page manifesto is its determination to end power outage by generating 40,000MW of electricity between four and eight years.
Apart from liberalising monopoly of power generation and supply, APC pledged efficient tariff.
The party also said it would fight corruption by granting independence to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
It promised to repeal the laws inhibiting the independence of anti-graft agencies.
The manifesto, which was distributed to leaders and elders of APC at a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja, presided over by its Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande,
APC also said it would amend the constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal cases.
The manifesto reads in part: “APC in Government shall muster the political will to wage strident War Against Corruption; otherwise our post-oil economy will be disastrous.
“It is our considered view that none of our cardinal programmes will succeed if the current level of corruption and looting going on in the land is allowed to continue
“We shall strengthen and make independent the EFCC, ICPC and other anti-graft agencies and repeal the laws which inhibit their independence.
“We shall embark on public sensitisation campaign and civic education against corruption in schools and town halls.
“Shall encourage civil society organisations, advocacy groups and whistle-blowers in the anti-graft vanguard.
“We shall stop the corruption of our electoral process by making Independent National and State Electoral Commissions (INEC) truly independent.
“We shall establish special courts for corruption, after due and thorough review of the Penal Code.
“To actualise this, we shall make the appointment of the chairman and top officials of National and State Electoral Commissions public as enunciated in the Uwais Electoral Reform Report.
“On all election matters, the burden of proof shall rest with the Electoral Commissions.”
The party also said it would enhance politics and governance with reforms through more accountability and transparent process.
The party said: “APC will prevent abuse of executive, legislative and public offices through greater accountability, transparency and strict enforcement of anti-corruption laws whilst strengthening all anti-corruption agencies.
“Amend the constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal cases.
“Ensure full implementation of the Freedom of Information Act so that government held data sets can be requested and used by the media and the public at large and then published on regular basis.”
On Federalism, the manifesto added: “APC will initiate action to amend our constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties and responsibilities to states and local governments in order to entrench Federalism and the Federal Spirit.”
On power, APC has pledged to generate and distribute up to 40,000 Megawatts of electricity in four to eight years.
The manifesto said: “Power is the centre-point of the development process. All other indices of development anchor on power and energy. The failure to make power supply efficient has impacted negatively on the economy. It has made the cost of production and business high and has invariably raised the cost of agricultural produce and other finished goods and services thereby thwarting the growth of our economy.
“The crisis in the power sector is one of the major causes of the present collapse of the industrial sector and the inability of small-scale industries to thrive. To kick-start industrial growth in the country, stable and affordable power supply is an absolute necessity.
“The APC Government shall vigorously pursue the expansion of electricity generation and distribution of up to 40,000 megawatts in four to eight years. The party will also work assiduously at making power available from renewable energy sources, such as coal, solar, hydro, wind and biomass for domestic and industrial use, wherever these prove viable.
As a matter of pressing priority and urgency, tackle the paralysing lapses with electric power generation, distribution and supply.
Resolve all stalemate around the reform of the power sector and develop a transparently agreed power generation and distribution milestones with clear timelines and targets.
Liberalise the monopoly of the Federal Government in power generation and supply. We shall devolve much of power and energy to the private sector.
The gas and thermal stations will particularly be encouraged to increase their supply capacities.
Alternative power sources, including hydro, solar, coal and wind energy will be explored and developed.
Regular Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of existing facilities will be done to ensure steady and uninterrupted utility supply.
An aggressive and efficient tariff/ revenue recovery system will be pursued. All avenues of waste, corruption and abuse will be checked.
Rural electrification will continue to be encouraged.
Improve management efficiency of the nation’s distribution system, improve commitment to consumer service and sensitise a national energy conservation and maintenance culture on electricity supply.
Regarding national security and defence, APC said it would decentralise the police and expand its local content to include community policing.
The manifesto said: “APC will urgently address capacity building of law enforcement agents in terms of quantity and quality as this is critical in safeguarding the sanctity of lives and property.
“Establish a well-trained, adequately funded, equipped and goals driven Serious Crime Squad to combat terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, militancy, ethno-religious and communal clashes nationwide.
“Begin widespread consultations to amend the constitution to decentralise the police command and expand local content by including community policing.”
“Push for more support in the security and economic stability of the sub-region (ECOWAS) and AU as a whole and maintain a strong, close and frank relationship with the international community.
“Take renewed measures to secure our borders, which are currently too porous for effective control of…
“Take renewed measures to secure our borders which are currently too porous for effective control of unwarranted movement.
“Establish a National Coast Guard to protect our coastal waters.”
Concerning the economy, APC in its manifesto, said it would make “Nigerian economy one of the fastest growing emerging economies in the world achieving a real GDP growth averaging 10 per cent annually.
“Embark on vocational training, entrepreneurial and skill acquisition scheme for graduates along with the creation of small Business Loan Guarantee Scheme to create at least 1million new jobs every year, for the foreseeable future.
“Create additional middle-class of at least 1 million new home owners in our first year in government and 1 million annually thereafter, by enacting a national mortgage system that will lend at single digit interest rates for purchase of owner occupier houses.”

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