It is no secret that for Nigeria to usher in an industrial phase that will drive our long-awaited diversification agenda, power is the single most critical sector. To put it simply, power is the fulcrum on which other sectors rely on.
Earlier in the week, I was delighted to be at the Transcorp Power plant in Ughelli to commission our new asset – Gas Turbine 15 (GT15), with an impressive capacity of 115MW. The GT15 is the latest in a long line of unit recovery efforts that we began to implement as soon as we acquired the Ughelli plant.
To understand how far we have come, I’ll share our Transcorp story. Our journey in the power sector started in 2013 following the privatization of the power sector by the FGN. We invested significantly by acquiring 100% of the Ughelli power plant, driven and backed by our resolute belief in the potential of the power sector to unleash a total transformation of the Nigerian economy. Without power, there can be no prosperity. We want to improve peoples’ lives, uplift their businesses, better their communities and grow their countries.
This investment that we made three years ago has redefined the Nigerian power sector significantly. Today, we are Nigeria’s largest thermal electricity generator. The plant we took over on November 1 2013, with generating capacity of 160MW per day, has increased to 620MW and soon will move up to 850MW. This is the catalytic effect of serious-minded private sector investment.
The future is bright. We will do more, especially now with the kind support of the Buhari administration on power under the care of Minister of Power, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Luis Edozien, who are working assiduously to address a variety of our issues. To them, I say a solid well done!
I also commend the Management of Transcorp – the President and CEO – for all of their hard-work and also our partners, General Electric (GE), for making this possible. Most importantly, I thank the Governor of Delta state – H.E. Ifeanyi Okowa – for supporting us and making the operating environment conducive for our business to grow.
We commit to community development alongside business growth. We have a staff school that is open to the community, and we also provide employment opportunities within the community through internship programmes. It is not only about profitability and increasing access to electricity, it is about inclusive and shared prosperity – making sure we carry the community along. And this is why I daresay we’ve had peace throughout our operations here.
Power remains very close to our heart and we want to do more. We implore the Federal Government to assist us by fixing the challenges plaguing the power sector especially liquidity and gas issues. By supporting us, we will also help the FG to fulfill its power commitment to Nigerians.