President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday commissioned the 32 megawatts (MW) Maiduguri Emergency Power Project (MEPP) in Borno State completed in 16 months by NNPC Ltd.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the president said, “The MEPP is part of an incremental 4,000 megawatts of power generating assets that this administration embarked upon to improve power supply and stimulate economic growth.”
He commended NNPC for following his directive to restore power to Maiduguri within the shortest possible time.
Insurgents destroyed some towers on the 330kV Maiduguri to Damaturu transmission line in January 2021, causing blackout in Maiduguri.
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“For this purpose, I want to commend the NNPC Limited for following my directive to ensure immediate restoration of electric power supply to Maiduguri within the shortest possible time,” he said.
Buhari also directed the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and other power agencies to work with NNPC for more electricity.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari, said the scale-able MEPP with initial 32MW power capacity was built in 16 months and is the first of its kind in the North East and by extension, northern Nigeria.
He said, “Today, we are honoured to have Mr President bring back more power to the larger city as the president had directed. It was designed and built in 16 months,” adding that the MEPP will be scaled up to 50MW by 2024 to contribute the capacity to the national grid.
“And obviously, it is a new power hub in the region. We may very soon see power exports to neighbouring countries from the present plant.”
Daily Trust reports that the Republic of Chad government had severally sought partnership with Nigeria for power export.
Nigeria currently exports power to Niger, Benin and Togo, and plans to connect Burkina Faso.
Kyari also said the project is viable as the Federal Ministry of Power has restored the 330kV Damaturu-Maiduguri line from which three towers were destroyed in 2021 and also revived an old 33kV distribution line from Damaturu to Maiduguri to provide redundancy for bulk power supply.
Also speaking, board chairman of NNPC, Margery Chuba-Okadigbo, assured Borno residents of energy saying, “When we say we’re here to give you energy, we are here to give you energy for today and for tomorrow and energy for the future. And we’re already showing that.
Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum lauded, NNPC for championing the National Energy Security by intervening through the installation of scalable gas-fired power plant to restore power supply in the city, as well as ensuring the project is completed within the timeline.