Buhari inaugurates Maiduguri power plant, directs power ministry to partner NNPCL

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By Ella Anokam

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for continued collaboration between the Ministry of Power and relevant agencies with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) to ensure access to affordable electricity.

The President gave this directive on Thursday when he inaugurated the 50-Megawatt Maiduguri Emergency Power Plant (MEPP) project site in Borno.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 50-Megawatt gas-fired thermal plant was built by the Federal Government through the NNPCL in collaboration with Borno State Government.

The Maiduguri Emergency Power Project is part of an incremental 4,000MW of power generating assets that this administration embarked upon to improve national power supply and stimulate economic growth.

He said the aggressive project strategy deployed to complete the project on schedule was a reflection of the Federal Government sensitivities in easing the plight of Nigerians, especially those recovering from the adverse impact of the insurgency in the North-East region.

Buhari said over the past few years, insurgents had attacked power supply lines along Maiduguri-Damaturu and Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu roads leading to acute power supply shortages to the city of Maiduguri and its environs.

This, he said, had crippled economic activities in the region.

NAN recalls that two major incidences of such unfortunate attacks were the destruction of three towers of electricity power lines along Damaturu–Maiduguri Road by the insurgents on Jan. 25 and March 27, 2021.

President Buhari in April 2021, directed the management of the NNPC Ltd., to restore power supply to Maiduguri and its environs.

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Buhari, while inaugurating the project commended the NNPCL on its purposeful response, following his directive to ensure the immediate restoration of reliable power supply to Maiduguri within the shortest possible time.

“I want to reassure Nigerians of the Federal Government’s resolve to continue to implement programmes, particularly in the power sector, that will deepen domestic gas utilisation, expand national power generation capacity, revitalise industries and create multiple jobs for economic growth.

“Therefore, today, I have the honour to inaugurate another power plant that is aimed at improving electricity supply to Nigerian homes- an integral part of the huge successes being recorded by the Presidential Power Initiative.

“I would like to direct the Ministry of Power and other relevant agencies namely, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, Transmission Company of Nigeria, etc to continue to collaborate with the NNPC Ltd to ensure access to affordable electricity.

“I commend NNPC Ltd, the government and people of Borno State for this feat. I do hope that the undaunting spirit of the New NNPC Ltd will continue to engender affordable energy for Nigerians, not just for the immediate, but for the years ahead,” he said.

The event had in attendance, Vice President-elect, Sen. Shettima Kashim, Minister of Power, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, and his Petroleum Resources counterpart, Chief Timipre Sylva, Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, Sen. Margery Okadigbo, and NNPCL Board Chairman,

Other dignitaries include the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, Malam Mele Kyari and the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-Kanemi, accompanied by other Emirs.

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The president who had earlier inaugurated other projects in the state also paid courtesy call to the Shehu of Borno. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

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