Minister of State for Power, Mr. Goddy Agba, has said that his appointment has specific roles assigned to him, one of which is the provision of electricity to urban and rural communities and not to give handouts in the form of bags of rice, cooking oil and wrappers to people.
Agba, who spoke against the backdrop of demands by people asking for seasonal gifts, said he was working to actualise the policy thrust of the present administration to facilitate electricity across the states of the federation in order to create employment through increased electricity supply to artisans, small and medium scale enterprises and other creative ventures.
The minister, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Ofem Uket in Calabar, Cross River State, noted that in less than two years in office, the nation had recorded successes in the power sector through major interventions projects.
“Some of the states which have benefitted from electricity intervention programmes include Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Edo, Ebonyi, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Niger and satellite towns within the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
“Greater attention is focused in the rural areas to take advantage of the emerging alternative energy sources in Nigeria, particularly the solar mini-grid systems.”
He said that in Cross River State there was no electricity in Bekwara Local Government Area of the state for six years, but that the area is now enjoying a steady supply of electricity.
Agba, who called on people to demand more for projects that can change their lives and not handouts, said arrangements had been concluded with a Japanese Consortium, JAICA, for the electrification of the Utanga and the Ranch Resort and work will soon commence.
He added: “We must always bear in mind that ministerial appointments are given national responsibilities.
“Thus, it is quite erroneous to expect a minister to completely focus on his/her state of origin.”