Statement By President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to the Nation

Addressing the Egyptian people, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi asserted the importance of public support to the government in standing up to the challenges besetting the homeland atop of which comes the power outage crisis.

“We have used to be frank and honest since the presidential elections within the framework of partnership between us in case of any problem”, said the president, adding that he has warned before the presidential elections that the responsibility is immense and that he and the government can not work alone on settling all these issues and challenges in Egypt without the support of the Egyptian people.

He added that he was referring to the power outage crisis that gripped the country on Thursday. It is a big problem that has hit Egypt twice in its modern history as the same crisis took place in the 90s of the past century. Several provinces were affected by Thursday’s power outage including Cairo and Alexandria, he added.

The electricity sector, which is part of the State-owned facilities, has been suffering from negligence in settling its problems for long years, said the president adding that the electricity sector includes plants for power generation whether from the High Dam or other power stations that are operated by diesel oil or heavy oil. The generated power is transferred by a giant power grid that provides electricity. This power grid is connected with transformers and power stations to regulate its work, said the president.

He pointed out that power generation in Egypt was not upgraded to meet the increasing needs and consumption rates. The power transformer network and control stations was not also upgraded to cope up with the increasing demand on power and energy, said the president.

He underlined that the required finance needed to enhance this sector is huge hitting around 130 billion pounds given the fact an additional power capacity of 2,500 MW is needed annually for five years. This means that 12,000 MW in aggregate is needed. Also, 700 million dollars is needed annually to provide fuel for the operation of the power generation plants, said the president. “We have exerted immense efforts with investors to secure the required finance but investors need guarantees that we will buy from them electricity at a worthy commercial price so that they can build power plants”, added the president.

Settling the problems of public utilities in Egypt will not be achieved overnight, said the president pointing out that Egypt is confronting major challenges that can not be settled by neither the president nor the government alone. The president added that he has explained that all efforts of the Egyptian people are needed to overcome these crises.

He further said that he is understanding the suffering of the Egyptians from the problem of power blackout. He urged them to be more patient as adding more pressure on the workers of the power sector makes them tense over the reaction of the public therefore the best and hoped-for results would not be achieved.

President Sisi added that the crisis is not in the power sector only but in all State utilities. “We need to take the right decisions to stand up to these problems”, he said.

He urged the media outlets to better handle the problems of the State. He also noted that settling all these problems is a matter of time.

Touching on the water and sanitary drainage utility, president Sisi explained that this sector is closely related to the power utility. He added that he would not like to speak about those who seek hampering the efforts of the government so that the Egyptians would be discontent and dissatisfied. He confirmed that the issue is related to a battle of existence that started long years ago to undermine the State.

“We are working now so that the homeland would stand on its own feet once again. This effort needs time, but we are efficient and up to the job”, he added.

“We have more than 4,500 villages along with over 40,000 satellite villages on the map of Egypt”, he said, adding that not more than 20 of these villages have sanitary drainage. This state of affairs also affects the water, agriculture and health sectors, he said, adding that billions of pounds, which are not available, are needed to handle this situation. He also explained that the State budget is divided into four sections one for redressing the deficit, the second for the debt service and interest, the third part is channeled for subsidy with one fifth of the subsidy being lifted but it affected many of the poor in Egypt, and the remaining part is not enough to upgrade the State-owned facilities. “We are working for increasing Egypt’s resources”, added the president.

President Sisi said that that he discussed with the minister of education a plan for building 150 schools. We have managed to build more than 1,000 schools this year and up to 51,000 teachers should be paid their salaries, said the president, asserting that “Egypt should have its appropriate status a state of affairs which requires us to be more patient and work hard”.

The president made reference that a committee has been formed two months ago including university professors to review the situation in all power plants. “We are studying the real causes of the crisis and we will never conceal anything from the public and will announce the results of a technical report on this score”, he added.

The president expressed optimism over the future of Egypt. He underlined the necessity that everybody, including media people, should speak in a clear discourse to understand the real magnitude of the problems. This is the real beginning for solving problems, he asserted.

President Sisi also addressed the issue of Egypt’s martyrs in Arish. “Egypt is confronting terrorism and fighting people who are seeking to undermine the State and deem us as their enemies, he said. We are fighting them with all firmness at a time when we are keen on the safety of the innocent people who are living in the same areas where terrorists are hiding out”, added the president.

“We have attained much success in this regard but we can not establish security and stability overnight, he said, adding that we need to be united with the public reporting to the authorities any attempt to sabotage power plants and other State-owned facilities”. Several people actually cooperate on this score, he added.

The president also extended condolences to the families of the martyrs who were killed while defending their nation and for their homeland to attain progress. He added that these martyrs are sacrificing their blood and lives for the whole nation. All respect and appreciation for those martyrs, said the president.

President Sisi appealed to Allah to bless all efforts for building and reconstructing Egypt. “Long Live Egypt, Long Live Egypt, Long Live Egypt”, said the president concluding his speech.

Source : Egypt State Information Service