As President Buhari commissions Azura power project, Nigerians need to commend him and Governor Obaseki for the timely completion of the project. Former President Jonathan and Edo PDP politicized the project. With Azura power, President Buhari and Governor Obaseki came up with efforts to find ways to re-organize distributed energy flows into aggregated and concentrated stocks of energy. In 2014 former President Goodluck Jonathan flagged off the $1 billion independent power project in Azura, Edo state. After a long and complex gestation with frequent setbacks caused by Edo PDP and former President Jonathan, 450MW Azura-Edo gas power project finally reached financial close on 28 December, 2015. President Buhari came to the rescue of former Governor Adams Oshiomhole and Governor Obaseki by ordering the resumption of work at Edo-Azura power plant. Former President Jonathan with the influence of Edo PDP ordered stoppage of work for what they believed that Oshiomhole will take the credit of the project when completed. Edo PDP wanted Azura power project to be among power projects which Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has detected to be 1600 electrification projects which it said were abandoned by project contractors at different rural communities in Nigeria for more than 16 years now.
REA said the projects were not completed because they were not adequately funded, or poorly planned. It also explained that even if some of them were completed, they may still not provide electricity to beneficiary communities because they had no reliable power supply sources. Before now, Nigeria’s REA was notorious for awarding questionable rural electrification projects under a parliamentary window called constituency projects. Projects awarded in this window were often influenced to compensate politicians and their associates. A critical assessment of these projects indicates that most of them were abandoned due to poor funding and lack of proper planning before they were awarded. Almost all of them are grid extension rural electrification projects, and many of them even after completion may not be put to any meaningful use, as they would have no reliable source of power supply.
Power is a catalyst for economic activities and prosperity. It is not a matter for politics or for selfish individuals and unpatriotic corporate profiteering. The power sector reform was brought in to enhance a vibrant sector and deliver to Nigerians.
The Buhari administration has not folded its hands since its inception, idling away in the office. It has taken a hands-on approach, playing the leadership role with policy consistency and special projects intervention to deliver stable electricity to Nigerians. Confronting challenges in the power sector by this administration has taken a huge political will. Cross Section of Power sector Quick Fixes between 2016 and Now.
Based on its commitment for prompt action in the energy sector, the Buhari administration provided the muscle for speedily success of the following. On the shortage of gas to the NIPP power stations in the Western Delta – Ogorode, Benin (Ihovbor), Omotosho and Olorunsogo, the administration’s intervention and resolution of the Niger Delta crises led to improvement in gas supply to the power stations in this western flank
Azura power is amazing gift to the people of Edo State and a moment when BEDC has disconnected several communities from the national grid in Edo State. Special thanks to Governor Obaseki, and others who participated in the incubation phase of the project, special thanks to the project engineers, special thanks to President Muhammadu Buhari who intervened to resolve the financial bottlenecks, I say kudos to you.
Azura-Edo is the first wholly project-financed IPP in Nigeria, and “consists of the construction, operation, and maintenance of a 459-megawatt, gas-fired, open-cycle power plant in the vicinity of Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. It also includes the construction of a short 330-kV transmission line connecting the power plant to the Benin North substation and a short underground gas pipeline spur connecting the power plant to the country’s main gas trunk line. The project will deliver power not only to Nigeria, but also the broader West African Power Pool.
Oshiomhole has taken upon himself some ambitiously near impossible tasks and turned them around.
Azura-Edo one billion dollar power project is a clear demonstration of the confidence of the international community, including World Bank in the economy of Edo State led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. It is an indication that Edo State is investor friendly as the Government under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has put in place the necessary infrastructure to attract investors to the state. This is another project conceptualized by the Edo state Government under the Public private partnership programme to unlock the industrial potentials in the state and make the state the nation’s energy hub”. The project is located at Ihovbe/Orior Osemwende Communities, off Benin Lagos bypass, Benin City.
The foundation laying ceremony of the $1 biliion Azura-Edo 1,000 megawatts gas-powered independent power plant was performed by former President Goodluck Jonathan at Ihovbe/Orior Osemwende communities, off Benin-Lagos Bypass, Benin City. The project was later stopped in the same 2014 because the former President and Edo PDP were ashamed that Governor Oshiomhole will take the credit for attracting such project to Edo State and the first project of such in Nigeria and Africa.
The first phase of the project, which was conceptualized in 2010 and jointly incubated by the Edo State Government under comrade Adams Oshiomole and Amaya Capital, the key promoters of Azura power west Africa Ltd, is 450-500 mega watts to be scaled up to 1,000 megawatts in the second phase.
The Azura project is the first Nigerian power project to benefit from the World Bank’s “Partial risk guarantee” structure which was specifically created to meet the developing needs of emerging markets globally. The Azura-Edo IPP is expected to create the template for the successful development of IPPs in Nigeria and Edo state is playing a pioneering role in determining the future of Nigeria’s power sector. Azura-Edo IPP will provide over 4,000 direct and indirect jobs for the people of the state from the construction to the post-construction period of the project.
Nigerians laud the cooperation between the governor of Edo State, comrade Adams Oshiomole, the World Bank and the private sector over the remarkable partnership in the power and energy sector between the FG and the state. Work on the $1 billion Azura Edo State Independent Power as ordered by President Buhari resume this January, 2016 as President Buhari turned the sod for the commencement of construction work on the project.
President Buhari had assured that the Federal Government will work with the private sector to grow the economy hailed the project which was conceptualized in 2010 and jointly incubated by the Edo State Government under Comrade Adams Eric Oshiomole and Amaya capital, the key promoters of Azura Power West Africa Ltd as a first in many ways. According to the President, “We are happy to associate with Azura in this private investment. This project is a first in so many ways. It is the first financed private power plant, it is also the first power project to see the world bank financial guarantee agencies”.
Oshiomhole was concerned under President Jonathan about contradictory positions of the Federal Government on the operations of the electricity distribution companies. The Federal government had unbundled the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, in order to radically transform the power sector. Unfortunately, the outcome belies the effort. Former Governor Adams Oshiomhole has lauded President Buhari and Azura power project which allows foreign investors with the technical, managerial and financial capacity to key into the power reform programme.
Inwalomhe Donald, Benin City. email@example.com