The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the nominations of Prof. Chinedu Nebo and Kabiru Taminu Turaki as ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria after subjecting them to a screening session of questions and answers.
Both nominees in their separate sessions on the floor of the Senate, spoke on issues bordering on security, power, education and politics.
Nebo from Enugu State, who was former Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, while speaking on the challenges in the power sector, said “uninterrupted power supply is not a mirage.”
He noted that with the unbundling of the Power Holding Company, there were a lot of opportunities for improvements in the power sector.
Nebo said, “Looking at what Nigeria is trying to do, we are planning to generate 40,000 megawatts by 2020, but when you look at the capacity of Nigeria to absorb electricity, that will not be enough.”
He said there was the need for more IPPs to be involved, arguing that with increased opportunities, even those who lost out in the bidding process of the sale of PHCN, could start their own infrastructure in participating in power generation, transmission and distribution.
On dealing with alleged ‘mafia’ group in the power sector, Nebo noted that God would empower him to chase out the mafia, which he termed “demons and witches.”
He said, “Some highly placed Nigerians believe that when there is outage, it is caused by witches and demons.
“If the President deploys me in the power sector, I believe that given my performance at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, where I drove out the witches and demons, God will also give me the power to drive out the demons in the power sector.”
He lamented that while South Africa generates 40,000 megawatts for its 40million population, Nigeria is still battling with 4,000 megawatts for about 170 million of her people.
Turaki on his part, called for the training of the military deployed for assignments in terrorists prone areas of the country to enable them to relate well with civil authorities.
He said the problem of insecurity could be tackled through a close collaboration between the agencies, while shunning inter agency rivalry.
He expressed support for the deployment of troops to Mali, saying that the funding and training for insurgents in the country are located in Mali.
“Nigeria should attack the base of the terrorists in Mali, because only Niger stands between Nigeria and Mali. If we don’t join other nations to fight the terrorists in Mali, they can find their way into Niger and then into Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking on the decay in the Police Force, Turaki noted that “the problems facing the Nigerian Police are so legendary. The decay had gone on for so long a time. It is easy to destroy, but rebuilding will take some more time.”