Gas a major problem in the Power Sector- Barth Nnaji

The privatization of the Power Holdings Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has been generating different reactions since it was first announced.

Government also made a promise to revamp the sector and re-align it with electric power sector reform act of 2005.

Question Time focused on the power sector this week to know how it is faring plus the going-ons in the PHCN as Professor Barth Nnaji; the Minister Power and the current Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Power was brought on to address several issues of the sector.

President Jonathan seeks Senate’s approval of $7.9 bn loan

President Goodluck Jonathan has asked lawmakers to approve his bid for a $8 billion loan which he says will fund pipeline projects between 2012 and 2014.

President Jonathan seeks Senate's approval of $7.9 bn loan

Jonathan says he is looking to develop Africa’s largest energy industry, a part of his administration’s transformation agenda.

In a memo to the Senate and the House of Representatives, details of the loan were explained. President Jonathan plans on obtaining $7.91 billion (N1.3 trillion) in low interest credit facilities, which will be provided by the World Bank, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Exim Bank of China and Indian lines of credit.

In his 2012 Budget speech, President Jonathan had vowed prudent spending and had pushed for policies that will bring an end to the country’s borrowing habits.

However, if approved by the lawmakers, the loan is set to raise Nigeria’s debt profile, which as of September last year sat at $40 billion (N6.3 trillion).

Finance minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had told lawmakers recently that until the 2012 budget received approval, sourcing for funds through loans will be inevitable, but promised borrowing will be done at a “manageable level”.

Lawmakers said more details of the loan will be revealed during a debate that will look into the merits, or lack thereof, of the $8 billion loan

Deregulation Necessary for Development:President Jonathan

The President has said that government is focused on the total deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector, not removal of subsidy alone.

Deregulation Necessary for Development:President Jonathan

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan said the controversial deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry was a necessary change Nigeria must make and that for the government to have an impact on Nigerians as a whole, the decision had to be taken even though it was a tough decision to take.

Nationwide protests greeted the government’s decision that took effect from January 1 and increased the price of petrol from N65 per litre to between N141 and N200.

President Goodluck Jonathan who was speaking to the outgoing ambassador of Iran to Nigeria, Mr Hussein Abdullahi, at the state house today says his administration has taken difficult decisions in the past few weeks, but this was in the interest of the future of Nigeria.

The Iranian ambassador on his part told President Jonathan that his country also had to withdraw petroleum subsidies two years ago, noting that 70% of the savings were devoted to infrastructural development and 30% to the provision of other palliatives.

Pres. Jonathan Assures International Community On Maintenance Of Peace

President Goodluck Jonathan has assured the international community that in spite of what the country is going through; Nigeria will be totally committed to maintenance of peace and order in the world, in line with the United Nations Charter.

PHOTO by Africansuccess.org

He also told them that democracy and democratic governance has come to stay and was being deepened, adding that the gains of popular mandate was that governments which come to power through the popular will of the people were not easily toppled while those who steal mandates or impose themselves were easily shoved aside.

The president was speaking at the president’s annual diplomatic reception for all foreign missions in Nigeria. He said that all citizens of the world should live freely and peacefully wherever they find themselves pledging to work with them to ensure that people dwell anywhere they like without fear. He identified this period as a challenging one for many nations and assured the world that Nigeria on its part will protect the democracy we have won.

President Goodluck Jonathan apologized to them for the inconveniences they suffered following the protests in the country, and expressed his optimism that though Nigeria started the year with protest over the removal of subsidy and the effort to manage the oil sector properly the country will be a better place for all.

“I believed some of you suffered some inconvenience because you couldn’t go out for a week, you couldn’t visit people you would have loved to visit,” he said.

“I can assure you that it has even made us stronger and indeed better. We promise that we will continue to grow from strength to strength and the incident of last week, we have put them behind us and we are moving forward. We will not experience that kind of situation again.

“We will make sure we work hard to ensure we will not experience that again. We appreciate your understanding. I know some people must have come to you and send all kinds of messages to your various governments. I believe that you know that the position of the government is the best for the people.

“Government will ensure that while adjusting the pump price, we will not do it in a way that will bring suffering to the people. We know we were misunderstood, prices couldn’t have gone up that way but that is a human society and is a human factor,” he assured.

Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Nigeria and Ambassador of Burkina Faso, Yamego Dramane commiserated with the country over the security challenges and pledged the cooperation of the diplomatic community in the country

Jonathan Summons Emergency Council Meeting

One week ahead of the resumption date of January 11, President Goodluck Jonathan has convened an emergency meeting of the Federal Executive Council holding in the council chambers in the Presidential Villa.

Details of the emergency meeting is not yet known but fillers say it may not be unconnected with the state of the nation and the aftermath of the January 1 removal of the fuel subsidy announced by the Petroleum and Pipeline Products Price and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

The announcement had sparked off spontaneous reactions from the Nigerian people and the Labour Congress leading to protests that claimed a life.

Almost all the Ministers in the Federal Executive Council were present at the meeting which commenced at about 12.15 pm, immediately President Jonathan entered.

Boko Haram:President Jonathan Vows to End Violence

President Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has vowed that his administration would deal with individuals, religious or traditional institutions associated with terrorist activities in the country warning that there would be no sacred cows.

President Jonathan gave the warning when he inspected the bomb blast site in Madalla Niger state.

He said, terrorist attack in any part of the country is an attack on the whole country and his administration would crush terrorist organizations in the country.

President Jonathan said boko haram started as a harmless group in Borno state and were used by politicians to foster their political interest.

He said the sect has now grown cancerous but collectively Nigerians would bring it under control.

President Jonathan Calls on Neighbouring Countries to Join the Fight Against Boko Haram

President Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has asked neighbouring countries to join in the fight against Boko Haram, the dreaded Islamic sect that has claimed responsibility for various deadly attacks that have marred the year 2011.

Speaking with the Deputy Prime Minister of Niger Republic, Mr. Mohame Bazoum, who had come to offer his condolences over the latest in the Boko Haram series of attack, the Christmas Day Bombings, Jonathan called for the joint efforts of Christians and Muslims in fighting down threats from Boko Haram.

The Nigerien deputy brought with him messages from his nation’s President Issouf Mahamadou to the State House today when the President called for solidarity between Nigeria and its northern neighbour.

Both presidents agreed that the violence was not a religious war, with President Jonathan adding that no religion asks its followers to throw bombs, killing people they don’t even know.

The President is asking neighbouring countries to cooperate with Nigeria in the effort to stop violence, since, according to him, the perpetrators pass through porous borders.

Mr. Mohame Bazoum said Niger’s president has expressed concern about the violence and loss of lives and assured President Jonathan of his country’s support in the efforts to check the activities of Boko Haram.

Christmas Day Attacks an “Unwarranted Affront” – President Jonathan Condemns Violence in the North

President Jonathan

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has released a press statement, following the deadly Christmas Day bombings, condemning the attacks in Madalla, Jos and Damaturu.

The violent attacks, which occurred at worship places and security agencies in the nation’s turbulent north, have claimed over 30 lives.

Jonathan condemned the attacks, saying the bombing of innocent citizens on a day millions of people all over the World are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ is a dastardly act that must attract the rebuke of all peace-loving Nigerians.

“These acts of violence against innocent citizens are an unwarranted affront on our collective safety and freedom,” the President said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, adding that “Nigerians must stand as one to condemn them.”

In the statement, President Jonathan expressed his heartfelt condolences to the Churches and families who lost their loved ones to the attacks. “I ask God, in His infinite mercies, to grant these innocent souls eternal rest, and give their families the fortitude to bear this painful loss,” he said.

Regretting that the unfortunate incidents had spoiled the celebratory mood across the land, the President assured Nigerians that his government remained resolute in resolving the security challenges that confront the nation.

“I want to reassure all Nigerians that Government will not relent in its determination to bring to justice all the perpetrators of today’s acts of violence and all others before now,” the President said.

“Deregulation not for Pains”:President Jonathan

President Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has once more reiterated the need to deregulate the petroleum sector insisting that the decision will not in anyway inflict pains on Nigerians.

President Jonathan made the comments at the 57th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Peoples’ Democratic Party which was held in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The party has endorsed plans to remove fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.

They asked Nigerians to embrace the project as a sure way to avoid the collapse of the economy.

President Jonathan Swears in Permanent Secretary

President Goodluck Jonathan says his administration will reward Nigerians who show diligence, dedication and commitment to the service of their fatherland.

President Jonathan

The President was speaking at the swearing-in of Mrs. Anastasia Daniel-Nwaobia as a permanent secretary in the federal civil service.

According to the president, the transformation agenda of the administration would be effective when the country can boast of a robust and vibrant civil service, adding that he will try to meet the needs of the workers to enable them perform their functions optimally.

The president however called on the civil servants to in turn ensure that their actions are predicted on strict adherence to transparency, integrity and uncommon diligence.

Pres. Jonathan Expresses Gratitude For Exclusive Book Presentation

PHOTO by Africansuccess.org

President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed gratitude to the special adviser to late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Mr Olusegun Adeniyi for documenting details of the achievements of his predecessor contrary to what so many writers had reduced to mere footnotes.

Dr. Jonathan was speaking in his office during the official presentation of the book, Power, Politics and Death, to the president. He observed that as mere mortals everyone will be remembered by what he has contributed to society and that the late president Yar’Adua in a very short reign as the president contributed a lot to the development of the country.

The president said it was a rare privilege to get the book presented to him before the public presentation saying that the book will attract a lot of interest.

Responding, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi said that as someone who witnessed the drama, it has become imperative for him to set the records straight and that his stay at the Harvard School afforded him the opportunity.

The book will be presented tomorrow by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state at the Thisday dome in Abuja.

The chairman of the public presentation is Ambassador Shehu Malami OFR, while veteran journalist, Mallam Mohammed Haruna will be the reviewer of the book.