A former governor of Cross Rivers State, Donald Duke, on Sunday explained how he would fix the electricity problem in the country if elected president.
Duke, who is contesting the presidential election in 2019 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), said the task would take him less than three years to be done.
Reeling out his plans and programmes in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, the SDP candidate believes the country must leverage its abundance of gas.
“Maximum of 36 months,” he said the job would take. “This is a nation that flares until recently 2.5 billion cubic feet of gas – that is equivalent to about 25 million litres of diesel.”
The former governor, however, said the nation should “have a nationwide gas grid where literally in every senatorial district there is gas”.
“Get manufacturing off the national grid, put them on gas. I will charge the gas relatively low, really low because you are flaring it,” he added.
“Leave domestic and small scale (businesses) on the national grid. In 24 months, you can have a national gas grid; in 24 months, you can have gas throughout this country if you are serious.”
Duke is confident that the steps he highlighted will not only put an end to the electricity problems in the country but also encourage investment if the manufacturing industries are charged with low interests.
He faulted the situation where the President is the Minister of Petroleum Resources, stressing that more attention should be given to how funds are being utilised.
“I think that is hogwash; absolutely hogwash. I would rather be Minister of Finance.
“I will take over the finances of the country and know how the money is spent,” the SDP presidential candidate said.
The former governor further explained that the challenges facing the nation originated from its productivity index which he said was ‘absolutely dismal’
According to him, there is a need to create jobs for the people, as well as an environment where citizens can do things for themselves.
He disclosed that this would be one of the major priorities of his administration if elected president, noting that job creation required an emergency approach.