By Olaniyi Apanpa
President Bola Tinubu, on Friday, ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to complete the 350 megawatts power project currently being constructed in the Federal Capital Territory in three years.
He gave the order in Abuja at the Presidential Groundbreaking of the 350MW project, being the first phase of the planned capacity of the 7,350MW Gwagwalada Independent Power Plant.
Tinubu pointed out that the 350MW power plant was “extremely necessary for Nigeria’s economic growth,” adding that it was his administration’s “first bold step to establish a strong power sector to drive the economy.”
“A three-year project must be three years. Nigerians are watching and they are anxious about all promises made and these promises must be kept,” Tinubu told the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPCL, Mele Kyari, who was seated at the event.
He then charged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Transmission Company of Nigeria, and Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, among others, to work with NNPCL to ensure the completion of the project in record time.
“I’m reassuring Nigerians that this government is determined to improve your lives,” the President stated.
Tinubu also noted that he promised to make electricity stable in Nigeria during his campaign for the position of President, and declared that “all power distribution bottlenecks will be removed.”
He said the early commencement of the project by his administration showed “our determination to bring positive change to Nigerians,” adding that “this administration will reduce power-related hardship in Nigeria.”
On his part, the NNPCL boss said there were significant natural gas resources of over 209 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves and a potential reserve of over 600TCF in Nigeria.
“As a commercial enterprise, NNPC sees this project as an opportunity to monetise our abundant natural gas resources, by expanding access to energy to support economic growth, industrialisation, and job creation across the country.
“To achieve this national aspiration, NNPC has invested heavily in domestic gas footprint expansion projects through the delivery of the Trans-Nigeria Pipeline Project, which includes the Escravos to Lagos Pipeline System, the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben gas pipeline and the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline,” Kyari stated.
He said the power project was a step towards achieving NNPCL’s gas and power mandate to add five gigawatts to the national power generation by 2024.
“Currently NNPC and partners are delivering about 800MW to the national grid from Afam VI and Okpai Phase 1 thermal power plants with combined installed capacity of 1,100MW.
“We have also completed the Okpai Phase 2 project that will add up to 320MW of power to the national grid and progress with other power plant projects across the country including those along the AKK pipeline route.
“The Gwagwalada IPP is among the NNPC flagship power projects along the AKK corridor. This is part of the 3,600MW cumulative power capacity which includes Kaduna IPP (900MW) and Kano IPP (1,350MW),” Kyari stated.
He said the project would be delivered in collaboration with General Electric as the Original Equipment Manufacturer, and China Machinery and Engineering Corporation as the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction contractor.