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It’s shameful we’re still generating 4.5GW of electricity — Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has described as shameful, the fact that Nigeria despite its size was still generating 4.5GW of electricity.

President Tinubu who expressed his displeasure when he inaugurated a 31-member Presidential Economic Coordination Council at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa Abuja underscored the need for innovative solutions to the country’s economic challenges, noting the importance of public-private partnerships in driving economic reforms.

According to him, ‘’We have the challenge of energy security in Nigeria. We need to work together to improve our oil and gas sector, and we must also increase electricity generation and distribution throughout the country. ‘We are determined to do that with your cooperation, collaboration, and recommendations. As a nation, it is so shameful that we are still generating 4.5GW of electricity.

‘’We must increase our oil production to two (2) million barrels per day within the next few months and we are determined to remove all entry barriers to investments in the energy sector while enhancing competitiveness,’’ the President stated.

President Tinubu announced measures, which will run concurrently with the National Construction and Household Support Programme, to stabilize the economy, enhance job creation, and foster economic security. The measures under the Economic Stabilization Programme are energy security initiative which includes power, oil and gas.

This is aimed at increasing on-grid electricity to be delivered to homes and businesses from about 4.5 gigawatts to 6 gigawatts in six months; increase oil production to 2 million barrels per day within the next 12 months; and remove barriers to entry for investments into the sector to enhance competitiveness.

He said that the agriculture and food security under the Economic Stabilization Programme, is aimed at increasing staple crops grown by small-holder farmers from 127 million MT in 2023 to 135 million MT this year. It is also to bolster production by partnering larger-scale commercial farmers; support qualified farmers with satellite imagery for land use planning, crop rotation, and monitoring of agricultural expansion.

The President further explained that the health and social welfare sector shall make essential medicines available at lower cost for 80-90 million Nigerians and expand healthcare insurance coverage for 1 million vulnerable people via a Vulnerable Group Fund in collaboration with state governments;

It will also redeploy 20,000 healthcare workers to provide services to 10-12 million patients in areas where they are most urgently needed; power up 4,800 primary healthcare centres (PHCs), second-tier, and third tier hospitals using renewable energy sources.

On the fiscal measures, he said, “some of the interventions to improve access to finance for the housing sector, MSMEs, and the manufacturing sector are: “Youth-owned enterprises: Support for new and existing youth-owned enterprises across all 36 states of the Federation, creating 7,400 MSMEs within the next 6-12 months; MSME support: A six hundred and fifty billion naira (N650 billion) facility will provide lower-cost short-term facilities to youth-owned businesses, manufacturers and MSMEs across various industries; food processing, pharmaceutical, agriculture, and wholesale and retail trade. This financing will be based on their current and future receivables, company rating, and market demand for products;

“A Manufacturing Stabilization Fund will rejuvenate up to two hundred and fifty companies and deliver lower cost (9.0%-11.0%) long-term facilities to large, medium-scale, and light manufacturers that produce finished goods for domestic and export markets. Sub-national Matching Fund: A Grow Nigeria Development Fund consisting of a single-digit interest rate loan portfolio with the Bank of Industry and a matching fund agreement with sub-national governments to grow MSMEs;

“Expanding the Bank of Industry’s Rural Development Programme: A fund to support rural economies in developing 300 new MSMEs for each state, including the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), resulting in 11,100 new rural-based MSMEs across the Federation;

“Mortgage Finance Acceleration Facility: A facility that delivers affordable housing for all segments impacted by the cost-of-living challenge. This will support the construction of an additional 25,000 housing units.These fiscal measures will improve access to finance for MSMEs and, in the process, create 4.7 million direct and indirect jobs over a six to 12-month period.”

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