The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, says Nigeria was “in slumber” for over 30 years until President Muhammadu Buhari took over in 2015.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in September, sacked Saleh Mamman as the minister of power and replaced him with Aliyu, who was minister of state for works and housing.
Speaking on Monday when he featured on ‘Good Morning Nigeria’, a programme on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the minister said foreigners are now willing to invest in Nigeria as the federal government has provided opportunities in the power sector.
He also said the Nigeria international partnership forum, which held recently in Paris, was an opportunity to present the achievements of the current government and to attract foreign investment in all sectors.
“If you look back, our development plans in the seventies, the government was determined to invest in infrastructure, security and other areas of development. But unfortunately, we did not keep pace with the growing population. This led to the deterioration of our infrastructure since we have not given enough attention to it,” he said.
“Now, it is safe to say that Nigeria had gone into slumber for over 30 years until the present government came in. Yes, the whole sector.
“In fact, I participated in a panel where we talked about general infrastructure, power, road, transportation, airport, railway and other sectors. We needed to tell them what we have been doing, the reforms the country is undergoing in all the sectors — reforms on laws, regulations and things like that.
“We needed to tell them in order to keep them confident of what we have been doing and also to tell them that the challenges are so enormous and the challenges are present where our investors can come in and that there are also investment opportunities.
“So, these are the things we were able to showcase and what this present government is doing since coming on board in 2015.
“In the areas of road for example, we were able to tell them the road infrastructure is undergoing serious development.
“Over 13, 000 kilometres of road are undergoing construction with over 850 road constructions going on, and there are also gaps where they can come in and fill in the present investment opportunities and the reforms going on in the power sector.
“The whole value chain is transforming but the government cannot do it alone. So, we need them to go in and partner with us. It is a different government now; it’s not like it used to be before. This government has given enormous attention to these areas. So, this is basically what we have gone there to talk to them about.”