President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) for its purposeful response, following his directive to ensure the immediate restoration of reliable power supply to Maiduguri within the shortest possible time.
The president gave this commendation while inaugurating the 50-megawatt Maiduguri Emergency Power Plant (MEPP) in Maiduguri, Borno State on Thursday, March 2nd 2023.
“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.
President Buhari reassured 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,” he added.
President Buhari also directed 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.
According to the president, the aggressive project strategy deployed to complete the project on schedule was a reflection of the Federal Government’s 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.
Earlier in his address, the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari described the MEPP project as a giant step towards achieving the company’s gas and power mandate to add 50MW into the national grid generation.
Kyari observed that on the directive of the president, the gas-fired power plant was designed and built within 16 months, which was unprecedented and had been successfully test-run and confirmed ready by the president.
The GCEO, who stated that the unveiling of the emergency thermal power plant would open a new chapter of the NNPC Ltd.’s commercial energy for on grid and off grid capital markets, he added that the project would be scaled up to 50MW shortly, making it the first thermal plant of this scale in the entire North East.
The GCEO said the interventions of the Ministry of Power had restored the traditional 330KV line in Maiduguri and provided another redundancy of 33KV line from Damaturu to Maiduguri.
“The combined effect of the Maiduguri Emergency Power Plant and the replacement of the transmission lines makes Maiduguri the most sufficiently capital city in Nigeria. Obviously, it is a new power hub in the region, we may very soon see power exports to neighbouring countries from Maiduguri,” he explained.
According to Kyari, the NNPC Ltd, as a commercial entity, sees the project as an opportunity to monitise Nigeria’s abundant natural gas by expanding access to energy to support economic growth, industrialisation and job creation across the country,” he said.
He observed that currently, NNPC Ltd is delivering 800MW to the national grid from Afam two, Afam six in Okpai phase one thermal plants with combined installed capacity of over 1,100 MW.
“We have also completed Okpai phase two project that will add up to 320MW of power to our national grid. We are also progressing with other power projects across the country, including those along the AKK pipeline route.
He expressed NNPC Ltd’s appreciation for the collaboration with the power ministry, relevant power stakeholders and the Borno state government towards achieving this milestone.
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, the NNPC Ltd. Board Chairman. Other dignitaries include Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-Kanemi, Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ibrahim Pantami as well as several other traditional leaders from Borno State.
Garba Deen Muhammad
Chief Corporate Communications Officer