By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA: The Federal Government has announced that the on-going construction works on the Zungeru Hydro-electric Power Plant Project would add 700 Megawatts of electricity to the national grid, when completed.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made the disclosure recently during the River Closure Ceremony of the project at Zungeru, Niger State.
Fashola, who was represented by the Director, Energy Resources in the Ministry, Engr. Emmanuel Ajayi, described the project, being carried out in conjunction with a Consortium of Chinese Companies, as one of the biggest hydro-electric power projects in the country.
Fashola commended the efforts of all those who contributed to the construction of the project and advised the host communities to maintain peace as government has put in place modalities to ensure adequate compensations and resettlement of the affected people around the project site.
On his part, the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, represented by the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Abdulmalik Usman Cheche, stated that Niger State is housing yet another power project of 700MW; apart from three other power projects already sited in the State, namely, Jebba, Kainji and Shiroro.
Giving assurance of the safety of the contractors and workers on the site, the Governor noted that the deployment of soldiers to the station is government’s proactive response to security concerns as “no responsible government will fold its arms on security of such a huge investment”.
Vice President of SinoHydro Consortuim, one of the contracting companies handling the project, Xiao Jun, pledged his company’s readiness to promote the project in line with the contract agreement, assuring that the project would be realized on record time value through improved efficiency and productivity in MON’’, he said.
Anekwe explained that with MON’s 270 ‘Mobil’ branded fuel stations at various strategic locations of the country, and its huge blending and distribution unit of world class ‘Mobil’ branded lubricants used and trusted by people not only within Nigeria but across the world, NIPCO felt compelled to bid for the acquisition .
According to him, NIPCO would continue to maintain the Mobil brand on its retail outlets as well as continue to blend and sell Mobil brand of lubricants under branding license from ExxonMobil.
NIPCO, he said, made its debut into the retail market in 2009, but as at November 2016, the company was successfully running 180 fuel stations across various locations scattered across the country, adding that this track record of success has given the firm foretaste of the enormous potentials in the retail sector, and has in turn, engendered a voracious appetite for growth and expansion
Anekwe noted that in line with its vision, the company seized the opportunity to purchase 6.67 percent of MON shares when it presented itself a few years ago and became the second largest shareholder after ExxonMobil.