Nigeria to launch energy council, focus on power generation

Nigeria is to establish a new National Council on Energy to discover ways to develop sufficient electric power capacity in the country over the next decade, according to Nigeria President Umaru Yar'Adua.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Aug. 20 -- Nigeria is to establish a new National Council on Energy in the next few weeks to discover ways to develop sufficient electric power capacity in the country over the next decade, according to Nigeria President Umaru Yar'Adua.

The council will invite experts in electric power and natural gas to propose ideas on the future development of the power sector. Yar'Adua has promised to declare a national emergency in the power sector to focus attention on it after the council is inaugurated.

Nigeria needs to adequate electric power generation to transform it into a modern economy and electricity networks are vital infrastructure, Yar'Adua said during a 3-day retreat for ministers, special advisers, and permanent secretaries in Abuja.

The council also will look at stabilizing the Niger Delta to get Nigeria back on track in oil and gas production. Militants from the Niger Delta have damaged infrastructure to pressurize the federal government into granting them greater allocations of oil and gas revenues and development of their areas.

Nigeria's Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan has been in talks with leaders of militant groups from the Niger Delta and Yar'Adua has said the federal government will begin to implement the Niger Delta master plan drawn up by Niger Delta Development Commission in partnership with the states in the region.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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