We’re Working To Boost Local Production – President Jonathan

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Akin Akande, Abuja

President Goodluck Jonathan said Thursday in Abuja that because of the urgent need to create more employment opportunities in the country, his administration would continue to do everything possible to promote the rapid diversification and industrialization of the Nigerian economy.

Receiving a delegation from one of the successful bidders in the on-going privatization of the country’s power generating companies, President Jonathan pledged that the Federal Government would also continue to do its best to encourage investors who would support its efforts to create more   jobs for qualified Nigerian youth by increasing the local production of goods and services.

“The population of our young people is high. If we are unable to provide jobs for these young people, the country could face serious problems,” he said.

“That is why we will continue to encourage companies like yours which can contribute to the training and employment of young Nigerians,” President Jonathan told the delegation from Alstom Worldwide, which won the bid for the Afam Power Plant.

The President reaffirmed his Administration’s full commitment to the efficient implementation of its road-map for the development of Nigeria’s power sector, saying that government would continue to ensure that international best practices and standards were maintained in the ongoing privatization of its power sector assets.

President Jonathan said that he was particularly pleased that the recent bidding for some of Nigeria’s power generation and distribution companies had been considered transparent and fair by the international business community.

“We would continue to do more in line with globally-accepted business standards and ethics,” he assured the Alstom delegation, which was led by Mr. Patrick Kron.

Mr. Kron who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Alstom, told President Jonathan that Alstom which is one of the world’s leading power engineering and infrastructure companies, would work with the Federal Government and the French Government on capacity-building schemes to train more Nigerian youth in the field of power engineering and technology.

He was accompanied to the Presidential Villa by the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Jacques Champagne de Labriolle and the Managing Director of Alstom (Nigeria) Limited, Mrs. Victoria Adefala.