Late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua dreamt of fixing Nigeria’s power and energy sector by 2020.
Elected in 2007, Mr Yar’Adua planned to carry out infrastructural and institutional reforms in the sector but died three years into his tenure in 2010. However, 11 years after his death, Nigeria is still grappling with erratic power supply.
“In the first six months, it will be power and energy. That is what is so critical, and I have said publicly that I will declare the sector a national emergency because almost all the other sectors of our economic and social life, in trying to develop a modern nation, depend on it,” the late president said in an interview with The News shortly after his victory at the poll.
“This sector impacts on the development of other sectors and without sorting out the problems of the power and energy sector, we will just keep going round. It is the most critical sector which drives a modern and industrialised economy. We must, as a nation, commit ourselves to solving the problems of this sector. We have the potential.”
He made this a priority in his seven-point agenda.
“The infrastructural reforms in the power sector would aim at the development of sufficient and adequate power supply to ensure Nigeria’s ability to compete as a modern economy and achieve full industrialisation by the year 2015.
“The plan is to increase power supply to 10,000 megawatts (mw) in 2011 and 50,000 mw by 2015,” the document published by the Central Bank of Nigeria read.
But on May 5, 2010, Mr Yar’Adua died, marking not just the end of his presidency but also of his lofty aspirations for Nigeria.
Since Mr Yar’Adua’s death, Nigeria has had two presidents: Goodluck Jonathan and incumbent Muhammadu Buhari. But the systemic challenge continues.