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Federal Government Moves  to Revamp  Enugu Coal

From  Ignatius  Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The president Muhammadu Buhari, led All progressive Congress APC federal government  has initiated a process aimed at revamping the huge  abandoned coal deposits in Enugu State, South- East Nigeria  in fulfillment of his 2015 campaign promises.

Ironically, the process began on a day Nigeria’s  House of Representatives rejected the bill for the establishment of South-East Development mission (SEDC).

It would  be recalled that while addressing an All Progressives Congress (APC) state rally in Enugu State on January 10, 2015, at  the Michael Okpara Square Enugu, president Buhari, had promised to revamp Enugu Coal to generate electricity and employment for millions of unemployed youth in the South-East geo-political zone.

To fulfil the promise, the President has mandated the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi to facilitate the process for revamping  the Enugu coal.

Sequel to Fayemi’s visit to Enugu recently, the State Government  had opened discussions with a South-African firm, Simang Group as its technical partners towards the exploitation of the coal deposits in the state for purposes of power generation.

Speaking at the event, Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu said he was just a messenger here to deliver a message from President Buhari who directed him to tell Ndigbo that he has commenced the first phase of the promise to revamp Enugu Coal to generate electricity and employment.

According to Okechukwu,  after a careful evaluation of all the companies that indicated interest by Hon. Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Simang group was adjudged to partner with Federal and State Governments to revamp Enugu coal.

In his speech on behalf of the investors, the Executive Vice Chairman, Pan African Development Corporation, Dr. Odilim Basil Enwegbara, said their intervention would certainly change the narrative of electric power generation in Nigeria, especially in the South East part of the country.

Enwegbara stated that as investors, they clearly understood the challenges and are determined to commence operation as soon as possible adding that “we can convey the little resource into the much needed electricity,” he said.

Chairman of the Simang Group, Mr. Steve Paddy, said they intend to start with 600 megawatts of electricity and upscale it subsequently.

Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in his  remarks  said revamping of Enugu coal will generate electricity which is an enabler that has multiplier effect on the growth of the economy and thanked President Buhari for this laudable programme.

The Governor added that the move to revitalize the Enugu coal industry was in line with the current power sector reforms initiated by President Buhari, Stressing that the new development  would help “generate alternative and more vital sources of power generation in the country.”

                                           

 

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