By UDEME CLEMENT
THE National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has called on the Federal Government to adopt a pragmatic approach at improving electricity generation capacity in the country to fast track industrial growth and development.
The group also said that the pronouncement by government to come out with a new blue print on measures that mustÂ beÂ put in place to revamp the power sector,Â with a view to realisingÂ theÂ 6,000 mega-watts (MW) target, should be efficiently done to avoid another failure.
The Lagos Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, said the initiative by government to unveil a new blue print that would solve the perennial power crisis that is taking its toll on every sector of the economy is a welcome development.
â€œOne thing is to unveil a blue print, another is to tackle the problem on ground. Nigerians want to have constant electricity to run their businesses. Power is needed both for industrial operations and domestic consumption. So, government must be proactive in solving this problemâ€, he stressed.
He added, â€œLast year, government could not meet the target, but with this new initiative, there isÂ need for efficient implementation strategy that would enhance transparency and accountability in the system. Power must be constant for us to achieve tangible economic growth. Look at the operators ofÂ Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for instance, they need electricity to carry out their daily transactions. Also, they are employers of labour.â€
Aside from working on a new blue print to improve the power sector, President Goodluck Jonathan is also seeking the support of World Bank to tackle the lingering power crisis in the country.Â During his recent visit to Washington DC, the acting president held a closed-door meeting with the president of the bank, Robert Zoellick and other top managers on the power issue.
Jonathan revealed at the meeting that Nigerian government was considering additional power source from its rich coal deposit, that is likely going to take a longer time to achieve, and the exploitation of a nuclear-based source, which couldÂ take between eight and 10 years gestation period.