Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing says Azura Independent Power Plant is proof of Nigerian government commitment to improving power supply in the country
BABATUNDE Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, has said that the construction of the 450-megawatts Azura Independent Power Plant in Benin, Edo State is on course. According to him, the project is a proof of the federal government’s commitment to improving power generation and diversification in the country.
Fashola, who spoke during a visit to the plant said the power plant being built by Azura Power, a private developer and financier of Independent Power Plants, IPPs, across Africa, also showed a ‘very clear intent’ of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to fulfilling his promise of improving power generation.
The project showed the government’s commitment to do everything it can to enable the private sector to deliver on special projects, he said, adding that the project was facing very many approval difficulties before Buhari came into office in 2015.
Recalling his first visit to the project site, when the foundation was being laid, Fashola said between then and his visit, the Azura IPP and other communities had transformed, adding that the communities which are providing water, food and all sorts of services to the workers, were experiencing a new life.
Other benefits that have accrued to the communities as a result of the project include facelifts to the roads leading to the project, Fashola added, noting that even the road works the government was undertaking from the Benin-Agho Road was affected by the development as the drive time was shorter than when he first visited in 2016.
Thanking the development partners, JV Siemens and Azura as a brand, for its commitment and belief in the nation’s economy, Fashola also noted that over 1,500 Nigerians had worked on the project.
“But beyond the hard work, the economy, there are also jobs. You’ve seen people moving from one company to another. Some of the people I spoke to in the control room used to work with government, some with General Electric (GE), Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) and others, still they moved here because there are new job opportunities, and more of this will come, without a doubt in my mind,” he added.
“When we started, I talked about incremental power, this is it, the minister said, expressing hope that the President would be there on completion of the project later this year to officially commission it and add it to the stock of power,” he said.
– Feb. 9, 2018 @ 12:35 GMT |