By Etuka Sunday
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, 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.
NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu in a statement quoted Dr. Baru to have 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.
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.
Earlier, Kebbi State Governor, Alh. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who led a high powered delegation, 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.