24 March 2015, Umuahia – President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday commissioned the Phase I 504MW (Simple Cycle Gas) Alaoji Power Plant at Umuobasi-Ukwu, Abia State, saying his administration remains committed to the improvement of the nation’s power supply.
The plant is one of the 10 being built by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company.
Jonathan, who described power as key to national development, said small and micro businesses would not survive without it.
He said he would continue to work hard to move the country forward.
The President said the commissioning was dear to him because the project would have been abandoned based on an unfavourable report when he was still the nation’s Vice President.
He said he visited the plant and discovered that the report was contrary to what was on ground.
Jonathan said it was based on his findings that he directed that the project should continue.
“Power is key to development. Without it, small and micro businesses won’t survive. That is why we are committed to the development of the sector. We promise you that the second phase of this plant will be commissioned.We will work together to move this country forward,” the President said.
Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State said the commissioning would remain indelible in the mind of the people of the state because earlier attempt was truncated by the spate of kidnappings in the state.
Orji said because the President came to their aide, the people of the state would show their gratitude on Saturday by ensuring that he wins the presidential election.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, recalled that the power plant was the fourth to be commissioned in short and quick succession.
He listed those that have been commissioned to include Geregu, Omotosho and Olorunsogo Power Plants, saying that it is a record that could not be broken.
He assured Nigerians that six more of such plant would be commissioned before the end of the year.
He said the nation now boasts of 5,500MW of electricity under the current administration.
The Managing Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Mr. James Olotu, said the plant has a capacity of 1,074 MW on completion.