By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—A $250 million Foreign Direct Investment electricity project is to be sited in Sapele, Sapele Local Government Area, Delta State, by Proton Energy Limited with a view to boosting the energy needs of the country.
When completed in 2020, the project, apart from adding 150 mega watts of electricity to the national grid, will also provide 1,000 jobs for Nigerians during the construction stage.
Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Proton Energy Limited, Mr. Oti Ikomi, who disclosed this yesterday, during the ground breaking ceremony, said that the investment will assist industrialization, business growth and jobs creation in the country.
Meanwhile, the Orodje of Okpe Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Orhue I, has tasked governors of oil producing states in the country to prevail on the Federal Government to compel multi-national oil companies operating in their domains to relocate their head offices to the Niger Delta.
HRM Orhue I, who was the royal father of the day during the ground breaking ceremony, said that the relocation will assist in the provision of job opportunities for the people of oil producing states as well as generate income for them.
Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, who performed the ground breaking ceremony, while reacting the call by the Orodje of Okpe that governors of the oil producing states should impress on the Federal Government on the need for multi-national oil companies to relocate to their states of operations, said it will be in the interest of the country if it has the political will to implement the Vice- President’s directive.
He called on the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Kachikwu Ibe, to help drive the process of the relocation of the multi-national oil companies’ headquarters to the areas of their operations.
Governor Okowa, while expressing gratitude to Proton Energy Limited for locating the project in Sapele, stressed the need for the country to improve on energy distribution, adding that with the addition of 150 mega watts of electricity, there will be a robust plan by the Transmission Company of Nigeria to expand.
Ikomi said that the generation deficit in Nigeria was staggering, adding, “There is a rule of thumb that says that a population of 1,000,000 people requires 1, 000MW of power to meet theie basic energy needs and 1,500MW for heavily society.
“Nigeria’s population of 180 million people requires between 180,000MW at the minimum and 270,000MW to meet the country’s inspirational standard of living and degree of industrialization. To put these numbers into context, the current estimated delivered on grid energy is only approximately 5,000MW.”