Presidency Defends Trips Abroad Says It Is The Best Option For Now – Femi Adesina

Ministers and SSA to President Buhari have these to say – PMB told us, how when he flew to Iran in his days as Petroleum Minister, he noticed how much gas they were flaring and now he returned as President, all the flares were gone. We found out that all the gas had been harvested and piped to every home for heating, cooking etc. His mandate: “If they can do it, we must do it.” I am proud to be led by a President who sees good things outside and seeks to bring them to his people. Abu Dhabi Renewable Energy This is reputed to be the richest of the Emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Apart from seeking cooperation to recover Nigeria’s stolen wealth stored in the UAE [His anti-corruption commitment pursued in person], PMB addressed a renewable energy summit where we learned about initiatives to bring solar power price down to 5 (Five) US cents per kilowatt hour, (approximately N10) as against the price of 17 (seventeen) US cents (N34) per KW/h tariff in Nigeria fixed at privatization by the last Government. PMB’s mandate was for us to explore collaboration for the manufacture of solar panels in Nigeria to bring down the price and deploy it to the sunlit areas of Nigeria, especially the North that is most prolific for irradiation. We are currently working on the Energy Mix for Nigeria which is the implementation process of the energy policy that will take us there. Hopefully we will soon be signing the first set of solar deployment agreements for Nigeria. In this way, more solar and hydro will be used in the North, more coal and hydro in the Middle Belt, and more gas in the South; so that we take power generation closest to the most prolific source of fuel to bring down the cost and make it more affordable. On the trip to China (which I will comment on) we met a few Chinese solar manufacturers (who recognized us from Abu Dhabi) who want to set up business of manufacturing solar panels in Nigeria. China Investment Forum and State Visit This is the visit that provoked this write up, because I had bottled what I knew. But it was time, I believe, to share some of it. China is the second largest economy in the world with a per capita income of $8,000 which they are planning to raise to $12,000 by 2020. By her own assessment, according to President Xi Jinping, they are still a developing nation seeking to achieve what he described as “initial prosperity” by 2020. If you look at the back of your phone, your TV, your watch, your I-Pad, your Mobile Charger, many other accessories that you use, you are likely to find these three words “Made in China” printed somewhere. For such a nation, (with trillions of dollars in reserves, that plans to spend $2 trillion on imports in the next five years and earn $100 billion annually) who still sees itself as a developing nation, such modesty in the face of success, assiduous hard work and productivity is a destination to seek cooperation in the pursuit of economic development. This is where PMB led an array of Nigerian investors including Erisco Foods, (who now makes our tomato paste at home and employs people locally including farmers who supply the tomatoes), Power operators (DisCos and GenCos), and the Dangote Group, to meet with and address their Chinese partners. During the meeting with the Chinese President, 6 (Six) collaboration agreements were signed including for agriculture and food production improvement techniques, rail and power infrastructure development,  for funding the Dangote group to continue to expand and create jobs at home and keeping some of our reserves in the currency of the richest nation in the world. This last mentioned agreement was a legitimate coup by PMB because the intelligence was that some West African countries were going to sign before us. PMB seized the moment. Of course he had to apologize for our previous failures on our agreement made to part-fund 4 airport projects in Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt and Abuja-Kaduna rail project. The Chinese had provided their agreed part of 85% but the remaining 15% Nigeria did not honour during the last administration. Some of the recent revelations about financial scandals estimated at $2.1 billion in the office of the National Security Adviser alone during the last administration suggest how impactful such funds would have been in delivering these critical infrastructure ; but we all know what happened. This is why PMB is traveling. To repair our reputation severely damaged by the last government, and to assure our partners that Nigeria has CHANGED. And from there to re-negotiate an existing funding agreement to complete critical Transport infrastructure. Because of his reputation, President Xi Jinping believed him, and to quote him, he said: “It is better late than never. ” Through him China literally opened the door to Nigeria in areas of infrastructure (power, railways and roads), agriculture, education and manufacturing especially in our Free Trade Zones. To paraphrase the Chinese President, “ask us for whatever support or partnership and we will be happy to respond.” “We wish to see you take your rightful place and we are happy that you are the first African president visiting China, after my visit to Africa last year to pledge a $60 billion support for the Development of the continent.”
Knowing fully well that China have gone far in Technology, Infrastructures, Railways transport system, Power, Industrialization, and others these and more things Nigerians should be expecting in Nigeria as a result of Mr President visit Femi Adesina added.

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