Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Thursday, performed the groundbreaking for the 40 million dollars (about N15.2 billion) power transmission tower manufacturing industry in the state.
The governor performed the function at the project site of DELFRASCO Industries Limited, Tower Manufacturing and Testing, Industrial Fabrication and Hot Dip Galvanising Facility at KM 25, Asaba-Benin Expressway, Isele-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state.
The governor assured investors that his administration would continue to provide an enabling environment, including infrastructure, for industries to thrive in the state.
He lauded Issele-Uku community for its support and cooperation with the state government, and commended the project partners, Delta Investment and Development Agency (DIDA) for commitment and tenacity.
“The location of this industry demonstrates your confidence in Project Nigeria while giving fillip to our administration’s industrialization drive. It is my earnest expectation that this project will flourish, and that God will reward you abundantly for taking the bull by the horns.
“Upon completion, this will be Nigeria’s and indeed, Africa’s first and largest multi-industry local content industrial complex, providing products and services to power, oil and gas, telecom, agriculture and other industries.
“Major customers are expected to include Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Nigeria LNG Train 7 Projects, EPC Contractors in Energy and Infrastructure Projects and telecom infrastructure providers.
“It is envisaged to meet the present and future demand for tower manufacturing in Nigeria as well as the whole of Africa, and contribute positively to the socio-economic development of Delta State and Nigeria,” Okowa said.
He listed the benefits of the project as being a hub for power transmission technology, creation of over 1000 direct jobs, generating foreign currency earnings for Nigeria through export of towers to other parts of Africa, development and training of Nigerian manpower, amongst others.
The governor stated that Delta remained Nigeria’s gas and energy capital, holding about 40 per cent of the country’s gas reserves and supplying over 50 per cent of its daily gas production.
“This administration will continue to create the enabling environment for companies and industries to thrive and provide gainful employment for our youths in a safe, secure, and supportive environment.
“I am particularly pleased with the manpower development component of this project as it will complement the various skills training and entrepreneurship development programmes of this administration,” he added.
He said that the coming of DELFRASCO Industries Limited was another example of his administration’s commitment to diversifying the economy of Delta and enhancing its business competitiveness.
According to him, his administration has enabled the Ease of Doing Business in Delta State through several policy initiatives, including the establishment of Delta State Investment Development Agency (DIDA).
“It is gratifying that efforts in this regard are yielding the desired dividends and, I dare say, Delta is becoming the investor’s preferred destination,” he added.
Okowa urged the private sector in Delta to take full advantage of all incentives put in place to bolster ease-of-doing-business in the state.
Chairman of DELFRASCO Industries Limited, Chief Chukwuma Okolo, in his remark, said that the project was one of its kind in Africa, with its integrated tower fabrication testing and galvanising facilities.
He underscored the significance of the project as enormous, saying that testing towers for electricity transmission were still being done outside the country.
Okolo therefore, said that upon completion, the company would render industrial fabrication services for oil and gas industries and agricultural industries, among others.
He stated that as an export facility and a world-class training centre for Deltans and Nigerians, DELFRASCO would also render other services including production of poultry cages, grain storage and irrigation pipes.
Okolo said the company would also assist in the resolution of power problems in Nigeria, and that Delta would be the hub of electricity transmission.
He assured that the first set of facilities would be completed in the first quarter of 2022 while all facilities were expected to be completed at the end of the year.
President-General, Issele-Uku Development Union, Chief Kenneth Ofodile, thanked Governor Okowa for supporting the establishment of the project in the community.
He said that the community was grateful to the government and the promoters of the investment for making it part-owner of the project and assured of the community’s support to the project.
Dr Thomas Inugonum, representative of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), expressed delight at the take-off of the project, assuring that TCN would partner the company to ensure early completion of the project.