When Engr Saleh Mamman was nominated as minister and subsequently deployed to the ministry of power as substantive minister, he had no inkling in his mind that the job at hand is going to be an easy one or simply put a work in the garden, as such he made up his mind to methodically clean up the Augean stables that have continuously served as stumbling blocks to the nation’s energy sector development.
As it has been continuously highlighted by experts in the energy sector, Nigeria is endowed with large gas, oil and hydro as well as solar resources. Although it already has the potential to generate 12,522 megawatts (MW) of electric power from existing plants, but most days it is only able to generate around 4,000 MW; which is grossly insufficient for a large country like Nigeria.
Engr Mamman in his bid to harness Nigeria’s resources in the power sector shortly after assuming office made deliberate attempts at meeting relevant stakeholders in the power sector as well as trying to harmonize the relevant institutional frameworks necessary for streaming the progress in the power sector.
But as usual in the Nigerian context, they say when you fight corruption, corruption fights back recently the minister had come under sustained media attacks sponsored by some forces who do not mean well for Nigeria and it progress in the power sector.
These group of “cabals” have continued to come up with conspiracy theories so as to rubbish the efforts of the minister in a desperate plot to give a dog a bad name so as to hang it all in a bid to ease out the minister out of power house but they have failed.
In fairness to the minister there have been notable development in the sector since the minister’s assumption of office chief among them is the completion of the dadinkowa hydro power sector which has been stalled for over 40 years as well as the conclusion of works on the kashimbilla hydro power project which are all awaiting commissioning by the president.
On the mambilla hydro power project the minister in a recent interview clearly stated in unambiguous terms that there is nothing on site to suggest the project has actually began but on his assumption of office and in collaboration with the government of Taraba state, site for the commencement of work has been allocated by the government, survey work on site is in progress and immediately after that assessment and enumeration of houses and properties will begin and compensation will follow suit.
Already the ministerial taskforce on power constituted by the minister under the chairmanship of prof Abubakar sani sambo with a clear mandate to improve the power output in the short and long term has begun work all in a bid hasten up reforms and to improve to the nation’s electricity generation.
Public servants like Engr Saleh Mamman, who are striving to right the wrongs in the power sector deserve commendation not condemnation, as such it is incumbent on Nigerians to rise and support them.
Gaddafi ibrahim tanko writes from Abuja, he can be reached at Gaddafi_i@yahoo.com or on Twitter @gaddafi_Tanko
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily