By Jacob Ajakaiye, in Kaduna
The Kaduna State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria on gas utilization and expansion, a move geared at boosting industrial development in the state.
The signing of the document which was presided over by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, and chief executive officers of the NNPC, and GACN, took place on Thursday, at the Executive Chamber of the Kaduna Government House.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor El-Rufai expressed his delight to preside over the signing of the execution of the gas utilization and expansion project designed to bring nearer the availability of a significant additional source of energy for businesses and residents of the state.
He said his administration, as well as the people of the state wholeheartedly welcomed the project, as availability of gas has been identified to be the most cost effective option for powering factories, homes and vehicles.
el-Rufai noted that for the state government, the project is a welcomed development as it would go a long way in boosting the drive for more investment and fuel the job creation strategy being implemented.
“It will create jobs and provide skills for artisans who will work on the gas pipelines and associated infrastructure. Beyond that, this project will power the industries that have responded with enthusiasm to our investment promotion campaign.
“The Kaduna State government has since 2015 worked to create two new industrial areas in the state. The Green Agro-Allied Industrial Zone (GAAIZ) is located in Chikun Local Government Area, along the Kaduna-Abuja highway, while the Green Economic Zone (GEZ) is in Igabi Local Government Area. GAAIZ is already hosting investments like the Olam project, the fertilizer plant of OCP of Morocco and DPAN, the joint venture between Dangote Industries and Peugeot for vehicle assembly.
“Just this week, the African Development Bank disclosed that it will be financing our Special Agro-Processing Zone within the GAAIZ. The Green Economic Zone is being developed as an industrial park for light manufacturing industries.
“Our industrial parks provide clear evidence that Kaduna is ready for gas. The potential customers are here, and this gas expansion project will only attract more business customers.
“We expect that this gas project will also help expand power supply capacity and options in Kaduna State. It will provide feedstock for the 215MW power plant in Kudenda. I am happy to inform you that the Kaduna State government will also locate an 84MW power plant in Kudenda, also to be powered by gas.
“The combined effect of these two power plants will be to make power supply more reliable in Kaduna State,” the governor explained.
Governor El-Rufai then thanked the chief executive officer of the NNPC, Mele Kyari for the remarkable developmental initiative.
“My administration and the people of the state welcomed the evident zeal of the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria to deliver this project.
“Let there be no doubt that the Kaduna State government is committed to this MoU and the realisation of its goals in the interest of the people of Kaduna State,” he added.