From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
Niger state Governor, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu has said that the country needed additional 35,000 megawatts of electricity if Nigeria must attain a stable power supply in the country.
This is coming as Nigerians still groaning under epileptic power supply despite the sale of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria to private investors in the country.
Governor Aliyu said in Minna at the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the German Technical Partner GIZ, that presently the power supply in the country was in the neighborhood of 5000 megawatts which is grossly inadequate.
The MOU between the state government and the GIZ is to improve sustainable access to electricity for rural communities in the state and improve the state’s planning capacities and developing self sustaining models that will foster the provision of electricity to rural communities using small scale renewable energy techniques.
Governor Aliyu said as a result of the shortfall in the supply of electricity to all parts of the country, Niger state inclusive, industrial development and other small scale businesses have not achieved the required growth.
The Governor signed the memorandum of understanding on behalf of the state government while the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Michael Zenner signed for German government.
The governor described as unbelievable recent reports that Ghana is to soon commence the supply of electricity to Nigeria, adding that even the claim that Ghana had attained 10 years unbroken run of supply of electricity was not true as he was in that country where power supply was interrupted.
He however said that Nigeria could do with assistance from any quarter if it will rescue the country from intermittent supply of electricity.
Aliyu also called on the federal government to fulfill its promise of constructing an International Border Market at Babana in the Borgu local government area of the state saying the plan has remained on the drawing board for over two decades.
The construction of the International Border market Governor Aliyu said will reduce to the barest minimum illegal inter border transactions and improve the economic lives of people in the area and the state as a whole.
Aliyu expressed gratitude to the GIZ and in particular Germany for their numerous interventions in the state which has assisted the government to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
In his remark, the German Ambassador in Nigeria Mr Michael Zenner had assured that his country will assist Nigeria to solve its electricity problem as well as tackle the problem of gas emit ion in the Country.
Mr Zenner stressed the need for the country to go into renewable energy technologies which he said is best suited for the electrification of remote areas where they will also provide ample opportunities for communities and private sector involvement and subsequently foster local economic development.
The European Head of Mission in Nigeria Mr Richard Young was on the entourage of the envoy.