By Emeka Mamah
KADUNA â€” Vice President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said Nigerians will not depend on generators for their electricity supply by this time next year.
Jonathan spoke at the commissioning ceremony of the production lines of the new Peugeot 307 Sedan cars at the premises of the Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited (PAN) in Kaduna.
The vice president spoke as Governor Mohammed Namadi Sambo of Kaduna State, expressed sadness at the declining fortunes of the state as one of the hub of industrial activities following the closure of especially textile industries in the state.
Jonathan said the Federal Government had no other choice than to encourage and â€œre-stimulate the manufacturing and transport industry,â€ adding that such encouragement would be anchored on the provision of infrastructure such as power, railway, roads and waterways as well as creating a positive environment for investments to thrive.
Already, he said government had set up a committee to interface with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to arrive at a concrete intervention measures across different sectors of the economy.
He further said government took cognizance of the need to support local industries by galvanizing Nigerians to tie their purchasing power to national interest.
Noting that the post-privatisation programme of the Federal Government posed obvious challenges, Dr. Jonathan nonetheless, stressed that some privatised firms like PAN â€œhave since transformed into profitable companies so much that they have diversified and repositioned their business entities.â€
According to him, â€œPAN is indeed a national treasure. Established about 37 years ago, it has virtually grown with the nation; its products moving multitudes of Nigerians to work, worship, school, farms, cities and villages.
â€œToday, the Peugeot brand is not just iconic, but it draws tremendous goodwill among Nigerians to the extent that there appears to be a general consensus that everything possible needs to be done to keep its production goingâ€¦
â€œAs a stakeholder in the company, we are in support of the resourceful directions being charted by the management of PAN to reposition the company,â€ he said.
Earlier in his address, Sambo had said his administration was doing everything within its means to assist PAN to increase its sales to be able to remain in business.
He also stressed that the state government was compiling names of public officers who were qualified for car loans in the civil service, the judiciary as well as in the health sector, sayingÂ this was aimed at seeing how to patronise PAN.