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Buhari Pledges To Revamp Moribund Coal Industry

FROM IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu – Ex- Head of state, and presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), has promised to create at least, one million jobs for the unemployed Igbo youths if voted into office.

He said he would achieve that by revamping huge coal deposits in Enugu State for generation of electricity and export.

The APC presidential hopeful, stated this at the Enugu West APC zonal rally held at the weekend in Awgu council Area, where he spoke through the publicity secretary of the party in the South-East zone, Mr. Osita Okechukwu.

Buhari, explained that the coal industry would be revamped with the objective of generating electricity to serve the entire South-East.

He assured the people that he would award the contract immediately he comes into office to avoid the mistakes made by the Peoples Democratic Party, which he said squandered over N2bn voted for a coal project between 2012 and 2014.

His word: “We are banking on huge coal deposits located at Amasiodo, Inyi and Leje axis of Enugu Coal belt. We are going to award contract for mining and construction of coal-fired power plant, unlike the PDP that since 1999 promised to revamp the coalfields and 16 years after, nothing has been done.

“We believe that coal is the most abundant fossil fuel in Enugu State and Enugu Coal is one of the most qualitative coal brands in the world, which means that while some are used to generate electricity, some will be exported,” he said.

The former Head of State said his objective was to create one million jobs directly and indirectly from the coal sector, as ancillary projects would follow.

“My idea is to emulate the Taichung Coal-Fired Power Plant in Taiwan, the largest coal power station in the world.

“Coal supplies 46 per cent electricity in the United States and over 60 per cent electricity in China – it is callous to abandon such a golden treasury.

“For 16 years, every election Igbo voted for the PDP and yet, the coal belt remains untapped; hence there is no commensurate reward.

“In 2014 budget, for instance, over N600bn capital projects were executed in the South-South, while less than N200bn was executed in the South-East. Is that equity or justice?”

Also speaking at the rally, the APC Vice Chairman in the Enugu East, Anike Nwoga, expressed confidence that Buhari would win the presidential election.

Nwoga said, “Many of you are Catholics. Did you hear what Father Mbaka said? Every patriot must vote for the APC. ”


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