President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi urged Egyptians to support the government in the face of challenges, including the power outage crisis.
In his address to the nation on Saturday, Al-Sisi said the government needs the help of the people to solve problems.
“I and the government cannot work on solving such challenges in our country without the help of the people,” the president said.
He was referring to the blackout that occurred on Thursday.
This is the second time Egypt has faced such big crisis in its modern history, Al-Sisi said. A similar power outage occurred in the 1990s, he added.
The president said the electricity problem has been here for years. Power production is not meeting the needs and demands of Egyptians, he said, adding it is below consumption levels.
The power grid and control plants have not been upgraded to cope with any potential increase, the president further said.
Huge amounts of money should be put into upgrading the grid if it is to generate sufficient energy, he added.
“We need LE130 billion to add 2,500 megawatts annually for five years,” the president said. “We also need $700 million annually to secure the fuel needed to operate the power generation plants.”
Al-Sisi said the government has been in talks with investors to secure the finance, but investors need guarantees that Egypt will buy electricity from them at a commercial price, he noted.
Solving the problem of utilities will not be solved overnight, he warned.
It is not only a problem of electricity that Egypt is facing, the president said, noting that all state utilities need improvement.
Al-Sisi said he is optimistic about the future, but “I have to be frank with you and the media that a language of understanding is needed to solve problems.”
This, according to him, is the start of a real solution to all problems.
Speaking about the el-Arish martyrs, Al-Sisi said: “We are fighting terrorism and elements who are seeking to destroy the country and view us as “enemies”.
He pledged to firmly stand against such elements and in the meantime safeguard innocent people living in these places.
“We have achieved enormous success, but stability can never be achieved overnight,” he said.
The president urged Egyptians to be alert and report any saboteurs damaging the power grid and any other state utilities.
He offered condolences to the families of the martyrs who breathed their last defending their nation and their people.
He appealed to God to help Egypt in its march towards construction and reform.
The president concluded his speech by saying “Long Live Egypt. Long Live Egypt. Long Live Egypt.”