President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday inaugurated the Ariara Market Independent Power Plant (IPP) in the commercial city of Aba, Abia State, saying the present administration would continue to execute people-oriented projects around the country irrespective of party differences.
‘‘Electricity has no political color,’’ the President said in his speech at the inauguration of the plant. “Today with policies and programmes such as this IPP we have demonstrated that if the common good is our mutual objective, it can be achieved irrespective party differences and constitutional limitations.”
The president said 37,000 shops belonging to traders and small business owners in Ariara market would, one after the other, be connected to the dedicated electricity supply.
He said the feat would strengthen the Made-in-Nigeria policy for which Abia and in particular, Aba, and Ariaria market are already well known.
‘‘I am pleased to be here today at the milestone connection of 4,000 shops that now have dedicated power. Being a market that supplies shoes, bags, clothing, trunks, and many household accessories to Nigeria, many African countries like Chad, Cameroun, the Gambia and the Central Africa Republic, the reliable power supply is critical for ease of doing business to ensure sustainability and improvement.
‘‘I am told that before this intervention, traders in the market only got 4 hours a day of electricity and paid exorbitantly for it, which consequently affected the viability of many businesses.
‘‘This is the sad legacy we inherited but which we are replacing with an all-day power supply that is cleaner and better for our environment.
‘‘Those who turned their backs on these problems still have the courage to campaign about unemployment and poverty,’’ he said.
The President told the traders and businessmen who trooped out en-masse to welcome him to Aba that the present administration is creating jobs for Nigerians through investments in power projects like the IPP in Ariaria.
‘‘What is happening in Ariaria today by way of clean, independent and reliable power to markets and small businesses is happening in Kano, Lagos, Ondo, and Ibadan. Similar initiatives have started in nine federal universities with a plan to cover 37 universities, through Government funding,’’ he said.
Saluting the traders for their fortitude over the years when no previous government attended to their concerns, the President said: ‘‘Methodically, slowly, but very efficiently, we are cleaning up the mess. We are moving our economy away from rent and arbitrage and heading resolutely to building an economy that rewards investments, enterprise, and hard work.’’
Source: Blue Print
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