Ladi Kayode ,Abeokuta
Vice President Yemi Osibajo at the weekend disclosed that the country loses 400, 000 barrels of oil to thieves daily even as he also pointed out that the country required a total overhauling of the power sector to maximize the potentials of its generating capacity in order to boost its dwindling economy. He made the disclosure while delivering a lecture titled ‘Nigerian Economy and the Future’ at the 10th Anniversary of Crescent University, Abeokuta, referring to Ghana as one of the countries which survive on less that 150, 000 barrels per day.
Osibajo pointed out that the country would not only increase the 13, 000 megawatts generating capacity but would also work on the transmission capacity which he said, stood at 5, 000 megawatts. The Vice-President explained that the 10% Gross Domestic Product growth promised by present administration during the electioneering campaign could only come to reality with increasing the supply in the power sector, and equally gave assurance on the protection of the petroleum pipelines in order to improve the power generation capacity.
He said that apart from increasing and improving on the generating capacity, the country must also work on the evacuation capacity from the present 5, 000 megawatts to level that the country would have uninterrupted power supply, just as he noted that the non availability of gas has contributed majorly to the drop in power sector in Nigeria.
However,Osibajo said the Federal Government would ensure the completion of gas pipelines that has been abandoned for years and would consider privatization of transmission of power which is still in the hands of the federal government but managed by a company saying that the current privatization only covers the distribution aspect. The government, according to the Vice-President will prioritize protection of oil sector adding that transparency would be the watchword of the present administration to deliver its electoral promises, while he identified mono-economy which resulted in overdependence on oil, infrastructural challenges, failed educational system and insurgency, as some of the challenges facing the present economy in the country. Osibajo noted “Insurgency and instability of government is a major setback especially in the agricultural sector. Agriculture contributes 24% to Nigeria GDP but the 24% is under threat because of the insurgency in the North East.’