- Fashola Inspects 450MW Azura Plant, Promises Incremental Power
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has inspected the 450MW Azura Independent Power Plant in Benin, Edo State.
He said during the facility tour that the Federal Government would continue to strive towards increasing the country’s power generation.
Fashola also described the Azura power project as a proof of the Federal Government’s commitment to improving power generation for the purpose of diversifying the nation’s economy.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Communications, Hakeem Bello, the minister said the project was an indication that the current administration would fulfil its promise of incremental power.
He reportedly spoke after the inspection of the power plant built by Azura Power, a private developer and financier of independent power plants across Africa.
The minister also stated that the administration would “do everything it can to enable the private sector to deliver on its own specialty” through investments.
Fashola noted that the Azura power project was facing very many approval difficulties before President Muhammadu Buhari came into office in 2015.
Recalling his first visit to the project when the foundation was being laid, Fashola stated that the Azura IPP and its surrounding communities had been transformed.
He was quoted as saying, “The members of the communities who are providing water, food and all sorts of services for the workers who are here have experienced a new economy.”
The minister stated that other benefits that had accrued to the communities as a result of the project included upgrading of roads leading to the project site.
He thanked the development partners, JV Siemens and Azura, for their commitment and belief in the nation’s economy, adding that over 1,500 Nigerians worked on the project.
Fashola said, “But beyond the hard work and economy, there are also jobs. You’ve seen people moving from one company to another. Some of the guys I spoke to in the control room used to work with government, some with the GE, NDPHC and others.
“But they still moved here because there are new job opportunities; and more of this will come and this is without a doubt in my mind. When we started, I talked about incremental power and this is it.”
The minister expressed optimism that Buhari would inaugurate the project later this year and add the energy generated at the plant to the country’s stock of power.
He stated that although work had yet to be completed on the project, the power plant had already started generating electricity.