A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Akwa Ibom State Government and BlackRhino, operators of Qua Iboe Power Plant (QIPP) for the establishment of a transmission line and a power plant in the state.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State and the Managing Director of QIPP who arrived from the United States of America were present to sign the MoU both for the Transmission Line and the Power Plant Project.
Speaking at the brief ceremony, Gov Emmanuel said he is always glad to be associated with employment generating opportunities, and maintained that the Qua Iboe Power plant is one of the projects that provide the basis for industrialization.
He said power in whatever form means a lot and commended the QIPP management for committing an investment of 1.1 billion dollars for the facility with an additional 500 million dollars for Gas.
“We want to believe the Gas reserves we have here can actually make Akwa Ibom a Gas hub and we can actually partner, we can collaborate to see how we can realize this.”
The Governor opined that, “Nigerians cannot have this quantum of Gas and we still face a whole lot of challenges of what Gas can solve. It is inexplicable but that is the situation we found ourselves.”
He said the signing of the MoU is one of the solutions that will solve the country’s gas challenges maintaining that he was fulfilling his initial promise to involve his government actively in the process.
“We will make sure you have the cooperation of the communities, the government and all the agencies that need to make your job easier.”
He said the current electricity generated in the country was a far cry from the demands, and reiterated the confidence and expectations of Nigerians on the new power project.
“I’m sure we should be able to use this to launch into the new direction that will actually take us to where we are going to.”
The Governor thanked the host communities, the paramount rulers, the office of the Secretary to State Government and the Foreign Direct Investment team that worked hard to ensure the realization of the project.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer and founder, BlackRhino, Brian Herlihy, described the project as the beginning of, “not only a power project but a huge industrialization programme and we thank you for your leadership. “
He thanked the state government’s team for the measure of hardwork exhibited and spoke about the importance of the project as a long term investment.
Mr Brian said his team looked “at Akwa Ibom State as the best place to be in Nigeria where things are actually happening.”
He commended the hospitality and the excitement observed in the state and announced that, “we are gonna invest 1.1 billion dollars for this Power Plant and Exxon is gonna Invest another 500 million dollars for the Gas.”
Those who witnessed the Signing of the MoU were the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Linus Nkan, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Charles Udoh, that of Environment and Mineral Resources, Dr Iniobong Essien and Commissioner for Transport and Petroleum Resources, Mr Orman Esin.
The Chairman, Technical Committee on Foreign Direct Investment, Mr Gabriel Ukpe and the Management team/ Project Coordinators of BlackRhino also witnessed the event.
By Ndifreke P. Akpan