2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
Frank Nweke to explore opportunities of coal, gas, solar energy to meet Enugu’s power needs
Frank Nweke Jr, the Enugu State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), on Sunday, January 22, 2023, said his government would explore the opportunities of resources like coal and natural gas (CNG) which the state has, as well as solar technology to meet the power needs of the citizens.
Nweke who spoke during a virtual town hall meeting with the Enugu Association, Canada, noted that Enugu has one of the highest electricity tariffs in Nigeria, an issue he would work closely with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) as Governor to understand and resolve.
“Electric power is critical for domestic use and economic progress. While working with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company to improve supply and reduce tariffs, we have some opportunities available to us as alternatives to power from the mains.
“The use of coal has been stalled due to agreements induced by Western powers on the basis of managing climate change. What we have now are illegal miners and private companies who have expanses of coal deposits concessioned to them.
“As a government, we will work to retrieve these concessions by making deals with the people concerned or by making a strong representation to the government at the centre who hold the rights to mineral resources on the exclusive list under section 39 of the constitution.”
He also noted that the developed economies that had opposed large scale mining for reasons of climate change had fallen back to the use of coal due to the effects of the Russian-Ukraine war. He declared that he had the political will to ensure that all resources and opportunities available to the State would be explored.
On the use of natural gas (CNG), Nweke referred to Lagos and Abia where communities are sequestered, and clean energy provided to them. He revealed his team have had conversations with licensed operators who are willing to do the necessary due diligence checks and explore that opportunity whenever his government is ready.
Nweke further stated that as Governor he will also explore the opportunity of solar technology. He noted that Enugu already had young companies assembling inverters and looking to extend their production to solar panels.
“We will work with these local companies and with some established international companies from Japan, Turkey and other parts of the world to establish a ‘Partnership in Technology Program” to set up plants for assembling solar panels and training our people to do the same in Enugu State.
“Our intention is to put in place a policy that will mandate developers of new estates to deploy structures for renewable energy, taking sections of the State off-grid by providing power from natural gas or solar technology”, he concluded.
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