The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari has said the oil corporation has targeted four months for the completion of the gas-powered electricity facility in Borno State. The GMD made the assertion while on a visit to the Governor of State, Babagana Umara Zulum, saying that the gas plant is to serve as an alternative to the vandalism of on-grid electricity facilities by Boko Haram insurgents. He added that the Federal Government is concerned about the discomfort residents of Borno State have experienced due to lack of electricity, also noting that President Muhammadu Buhari to intensify gas power consumption especially in the domestic market of the country.
“Our essence of coming to Maiduguri is to join you to resolve the power problem in Borno, particularly Maiduguri metropolis and its environs in the next four months,” Kyari said.
He also noted that the challenges residents of Borno have faced since the inception of the Boko Haram insurgency in the state.
“We have seen the opportunities and the challenges faced by the people in this part of the country, and it is pertinent to support your people have light restored back to this city,” he said.
Speaking, Governor Zulum appreciate NNPC for its efforts, particularly with the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the 200-bed capacity Infectious Disease Hospital in Maiduguri in addition to the ongoing construction of the MedicalDiagnosis Centre in the State.
“Power is very essential. With power, we can reduce the magnitude of the insurgency, because millions of people are earning their means of livelihoods through the use of power.
“I have seen the agony our people went through during the nationwide fuel crisis, where entrepreneurs, especially market women and youths were trooping into filling stations queuing to buy some litres of petrol for their domestic or business usage.
“The ongoing insurgency has cut off the entire Borno from the national grid in the last two or three months. We put in all our efforts and restored it, we saw the joy and jubilation the people of Borno demonstrated after the restoration. But unfortunately, after 48 hours, the same group of insurgents went back and destroyed the main tower again.
“We have no other alternative than to source for other solutions, instead of relying on the gridlines, as it is very difficult to man the poles. That informed our decision to contact NNPC and other power stakeholders to come to our aid, and I am very glad to have you here for this purpose,” Zulum said.