As part of efforts to transform the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into an integrated energy company, the Corporation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kebbi State Government to build an 84 million litres per annum capacity fuel-ethanol project.
Speaking during the signing of the MoU between the NNPC and the Kebbi State Government (KBSG) at the NNPC Towers, in Abuja on Thursday, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the MoU was to commence the practical implementation of the NNPC Fuel-Ethanol Projects in Kalgo and Koko Besse Local Government areas of Kebbi State.
He stated that the occasion was a milestone in the drive by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to diversify the economy with a view to saving the Country from the uncertainties of absolute dependence on oil, stressing that the signing of the MoU between KBSG and NNPC epitomizes the gains of the laudable vision of the Federal Government.
Dr. Baru noted that the Sugarcane and Cassava-Fuel Ethanol Project in Kebbi State would involve the development of 20,000 hectares of an integrated plantation and plant complex.
“Let me use this opportunity to convey my sincere appreciation to the Government of Kebbi State on her interest to partner NNPC in achieving the Federal Government’s mandate on automotive biofuels production in Nigeria. Today is a watershed in the life of Kebbi State prime position as the food basket and feeder of the nation. The MoU today will move you to the next level of not just a feeder of the nation, but one which also provides fuel for the nation. We hope that very soon, you will invite President Muhammadu Buhari for the ground breaking of the project,” Dr. Baru stated.
The GMD listed the benefit of the project to include: creation of rural wealth, generation of 1,000,000 direct and indirect jobs, co-generation of about 64 megawatts of bio-electricity to power the plant and lighten up the surrounding communities, effecting reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, production of refined sugar and Industrial starch as well as production of animal feeds.
He noted that Kebbi State was trying to take its rightful place in the biofuels project, as he attested to the large expanse of arable land the State is endowed with.
“We are greatly encouraged to observe that Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, is very passionate about the Biofuel Industry vision. It is my expectation that the signing of the MoU between KBSG and NNPC will open the way to the Federal Government’s Economic diversification drive. Also, it is hoped that this event will send a clear message to other State Governments who are yet to come on board in the new agro-allied industrial revolution,” Dr. Baru averred.
Dr. Baru stated that the potentials for biofuels in the country and for export were enormous, stressing that the NNPC was willing to offer opportunity for investment in the project by citizens of the State.
Earlier, Kebbi State Governor, Alh. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who led a high powered delegation representing every strata of the state, congratulated the President and the GMD for the vision of the biofuels project, stressing that the move would transform the NNPC into a fully-fledged energy company.
Alh. Bagudu stated that the energy sector was an evolving one, adding that Kebbi State was thankful for the opportunity to partner with the NNPC on the biofuels project.
“The GMD and top management of the NNPC, we in Kebbi State will do our utmost best to make sure that the objective of the biofuel project is realized,” Gov. Bagudu reassured.