By Godfrey AKON
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has described the groundbreaking ceremony of the Maiduguri & Environs Emergency Power Project, MEPP, funded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, as a huge relief to the people of Maiduguri, who have been without power supply for nine months.
Zulum said NNPC’s commercial investments in the 50 megawatts combined gas power plant, will ultimately increase energy supply level to Maiduguri and environs, thereby impacting the state’s economy positively, when completed.
A statement by the spokesperson of the corporation, Garba Deen Muhammad, further noted the Borno State Government will do everything possible to ensure that maximum security of lives and property are guaranteed for the project implementation team and residents of the state.
“I assure you that as government, we will provide the much-needed security to ensure that this high pressure-scheduled project is completed on cost, scope and quality,” Zulum added.
Also speaking, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, explained that the project was as a result of a Presidential directive to provide emergency intervention to the electricity supply disruptions facing Maiduguri and environs as a result of incessant activities of insurgents.
Kyari, therefore, assured the governor and the people of Maiduguri that the project will be delivered on schedule, adding that the project would further improve NNPC’s gas utilization efforts for the socio-economic benefit of Nigerians.
“NNPC as an enabler organization is committed to the delivery of this project within schedule, and has already awarded the contract to General Electric Global (GE) for the supply of Gas Turbine, while Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) has been contracted to China Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CMEC),” he said.
According to him, the power project would be a model for other cities across the country.
Maiduguri has been without power supply since January 2021 as a result of the activities of insurgents who have blown up transmission lines on at least two occasions.
In August 2021, the NNPC signed an official contract with the CMEC and GE on the project. The groundbreaking ceremony signifies the official commencement of the project as the contractors have since moved to site.