By Peter Egwuatu
THE Commissioner for Information, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Charles Udoh, has disclosed that the state government is putting in place infrastructure to attract foreign investors as opportunity exists to build a gas fired thermal power plant in the state.
In a chat with Vanguard, weekend, in Lagos, Udoh said, “There is an opportunity to build a gas fired thermal power plant designed to generate 500 megawatts of electricity into the national grid. Akwa Ibom State has the largest reserves of oil and gas in Nigeria. Any power generated is guaranteed to be purchased by the Federal Government. It is also possible to generate for a secluded area (captive power). The gas required to power the plants in abundance.”
While noting that there were abundant rubber trees in the Akwa Ibom/Cross River belt, he said, “currently, all vehicle tyres used in Nigeria are imported. With a population of over 180 million, vehicles plying Nigeria roads are estimated to be in the region of 30 million, conservatively. Accordingly, an opportunity exists for the setting up of a tire manufacturing plant.”
On the performance of Governor Udom Emmanuel, the commissioner said, “In just two years in office, Governor Emmanuel has implemented several people oriented socio-economic programmes and projects which have catapulted Akwa Ibom State into the premier league of states in Nigeria. Building on the foundation laid by his predecessors, Emmanuel is leading the state on the path of economic prosperity anchored on sustainable development.
The cardinal objective is to transform the state into an industrial hub, a preferred destination for tourism and a major food basket. The success level so far recorded was accentuated in a recent report of the Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics that listed Akwa Ibom as the second best Foreign Direct Investment, FDI destination in the country for the year 2016.”
“Today, there are several visible footprints of industrialisation across the length and breadth of the state. In addition to the resuscitation of the Peacock Paint Industry and establishment of the Pencil & Toothpick Factories, two major factories; Electric Metering and Syringe Factories has been commissioned.
The syringe factory, which is the largest in Africa, has a production capacity of 400 million syringes per annum, expandable to 1 billion syringes. It is noteworthy to add that the State Governor recently flagged off the construction of a Flour Mills and Coconut Refinery while ensuring the sustainable operations of the Akwa Prime Hatchery” Udoh said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has concluded plans to increase electricity tariff by 51 per cent.
The commission indicated that it was awaiting the approval of the government before the implementation of the plan.
It explained that the appropriate tariff for one kilowatt-hour of power should be N51, instead of the current N31.58.
Mrs. Aisha Mahmud, NERC’s Principal Manager, Tariff, and Rates, who disclosed this in Abuja, added that the N51/KWH was arrived at based on the economic fundamentals considered when carrying out minor tariff reviews.