By Demola Akinyemi
President Umaru Yar’Adua has assured that the religious crisis in Bauchi State would be contained in such a way that it would not spread to all parts of the country.
The President who was in Ilorin yesterday to commission the Ganmo NIPP power sub-station completed by the Governor Bukola Saraki’s administration, urged Nigerians to shun religious crisis, stressing that it is a set-back to the developmental efforts of the present administration.
The Special Assistant to the President on Media and Communications, Mr. Segun Adeniyi, spoke for President Yar Adua.
According to him,â€œThe President has taken all necessary steps to ensure that the crisis in Bauchi does not spread to other parts of the country.
“He has the security reports and he has given all the necessary directives. I can also tell you that steps are being taken to ensure that such incident does not happen in any parts of the country.
â€œRemember the Maitatsine religious crisis, it was such a tragedy to this country, this one too is very unfortunate. Mr. President is not happy at all, Nigerians should shun any acts that could inflame religious crisis, it is capable of constituting bottlenecks to all the developmental efforts being taken by the present government, so it would not be encouraged at all,â€ he said.
President Yar Adua’s aide also noted that the Niger Delta crisis has always been there, stressing that more than ever before, the present administration is taking giant steps that would ultimately end the crisis once and for all.
According to him: â€œThis administration would end the crsis in Niger Delta, you can see this by the steps being taken, no administration has ever taken the problems in that region the way President Yar’Adua is taking it, it’s just a matter of time. It would be a solved matter.â€
Also yesterday, during his visit, Yar’Adua urged the 36 states of the federation to partner with the central government in its unwavering commitments to transform the national economy into one of the world’s largest 20 by 2020, saying the government could not do it alone.
Yar Adua said this in Ganmo, near Ilorin, the state capital, at the commissioning of the Ganmo power sub-station, an NIPP project completed by Governor Bukola Saraki for N265 million.
He commended the initiative of the administration of Governor Bukola Saraki which he described as bold and exemplary, urging other state governors to emulate him.
His words; â€œIt is important to also state that the Kwara state government has equally shown the way by underscoring the importance of inter-governmental partnership for the realization of national objective. Clearly the federal government cannot do it alone.
While commending this critical intervention and recommending this collaborative approach to other state governments, I want to assure your excellencies that the federal government shall meet its part of the bargainâ€
In line with the federal governments commitment to supporting development initiatives by sub-national governments, Preesident Yar Adua said that, â€œthe Federal Executive Council recently awarded the contract for the construction of the 1,500 Toda-Shonga Irrigation Project at a cost of N2.3illion .In addition, one of the 10 rice processing centers being established across the country at a total cost of N10b will be sited here in kwaraâ€
He added that,â€ As parts of our holistic approach, there are ongoing projects across the country not only for additional power generation, but also for building injection and distribution sub-stations and for massive rehabilitation works of the grid system. The impact might not be immediately apparent, but we are confident that by the end of the year, the cumulative results of these efforts will be visible to all Nigeriansâ€
President Yar Adua noted that because of its multiplier effects on peoples welfare and national well being, â€œ this administration believes regular power supply holds key to the radical transformation of our economy and society. That explains why , despite the challenges we face today in the sector, we are unshaken in our determination to markedly improve electricity supply in our countryâ€
Apparently impressed by the determination that saw the Kwara state government completing the NIPP, the President directed the Ministry of Power to include the extension of a 132 KVA line to the northern part of the state in the 2010 budget as part of efforts at improving the quality of power supply to the region which has massive investment in agriculture as requested by Governor Saraki at the occasion.
Besides, the President also directed appropriate agencies to ensure speedy reimbursement of the amount so far expended by the Kwara state government in completing the Ganmo NIPP saying it was necessary to continually encourage an administration that did not allow the project go the way of its peers in other parts of the country.
Other incentives approved for the state include a N2.3 billion Irrigation project at the Toda-Shonga corridor, a rice-processing center and a N1.5 billion Agricultural Export Handling Center.
The elated Governor Saraki in his address recalled that,â€ the initial project cost was N4.5B with both on-shore and off-shore components. All the off-shore components were funded, leaving the on-shore components unattended to. All efforts towards federal funding for the on-shore components proved abortive. When it was apparent that the project would be abandoned, my administration decided to take the bull by the horn by taking over the completion of the project, not minding the huge costâ€
He expressed delights about the reports from private companies, federal establishments such as universities and other enterprises that their expenditure on diesel has gone down by between 80% and 90% monthly saying that the savings to these existing corporations have been calculated at about N200M monthly or N2.5B per annum.This is apart from providing the incentive to those of our citizens who are skilled to go back to their primary trades and craftsâ€
â€œTo ensure stability at least for the next twenty years and to maintain the leverage that the state currently enjoys, Governor Saraki said the state government has begun to invest on transmission and distribution programs. Contracts have been awarded for supply and installation of six 15MVA 33/11KV transformers at the cost of N1B
The Minister of power and steel Dr Lanre Babalola in his speech who also poured encomiums on the governor of kwara state noted that it is the first transmission substation under the National Integrated Power Project that would be completed across the country and the first transmission sub station with a mini-SCADA system that allows full man-machine interface communications on real time basis,â€Machine talks to operators while operators can talk and make the enquiries on the machinesâ€.he added.