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Light Up Nigeria Project: S’East Poised For Industrial Revival – Shettima

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Vice President Kashim Shettima on Monday inaugurated the Light Up Nigeria, South East Initiative in Enugu State.


He described it as the much-expected solution to the power supply deficit that has undermined the nation’s economy and industrialization, according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to The President on Media & Communications, Office of The Vice President, Stanley Nkwocha.

Shettima said the Light Up Nigeria Project, which is part of the priorities set by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to revamp the nation’s economy and ensure rapid industrialization, heralds renewed hope for industrialists, investors, and Nigerians who had to bear the brunt of the country’s power challenges for so long.

The Vice President also inaugurated the 181MW Geometric power plant in Aba, Abia State to accelerate power supply to industrial clusters in the region.

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The project, a collaboration between the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) and its partners, is targeted at revamping Nigeria’s infrastructure framework with the much-needed drive in empowering Nigerians and strengthening the economic policies of the Tinubu administration.


Commenting on the power plant on his X handle, a former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi said the project is a landmark,

The Labour Party President candidate said he is hopeful that the plant will catalyze development in the commercial city of Aba and its environs.


Obi said: “Today, I attended the Commissioning of the Geometric Power facility, Aba Integrated Power Project, in Osisioma Local Government Area of Abia State. The project is a landmark one that hopes to catalyze development in the commercial city of Aba and its environs.”

The Vice President also flagged off the Smart Schools project of Governor Peter Mbah in Enugu, and various road projects in Abia State constructed by Governor Alex Otti.

Delivering his address titled, “A Stable Light for a Steady Economy,” the Vice President said the project is part of the federal government’s responsibility for the nation’s industrialization in fulfillment of the promises made by President Tinubu.


Shettima said: “This marks a renewal of hope for industrialists, for investors, and for the homes that have long endured the consequences of Nigeria’s power supply deficit.


“The Light Up Nigeria project powers the hope of our industrialists and serves as a long-awaited solution to the power supply deficit that has undermined our economy over the past decades. So, this intervention isn’t a ribbon-cutting charade.


“This is a calculated endeavour to re-engineer our economy, and whatever we design to oil the wheels of our industries is futile unless we stabilize the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).”

The VP had on October 12, 2023, flagged off the initiative in the South West at the Agbara Industrial Cluster, with stakeholders committing to the successful implementation of the project across the country.


Flagging off the project in Enugu for the South East region, he recalled that when the pilot project was initiated with a business roundtable at the Agbara industrial area, it attracted major investors and industrialists even from neighbouring clusters in Oyo and Lagos States.


He said: “We were sure of our direction in pursuit of the priorities set by His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the dream under construction attracts us to this historic city of coals and industries.


“Even the most skeptical mind has since been persuaded by the milestones achieved in Agbara since October 12, 2023,” following the completion of technical studies and a new transformer procured, while a mobile transmission substation would soon be up for commissioning.”


The VP said the project is not mere rhetoric, and that as an industrial powerhouse, the South East and its economic fortune is one of President Tinubu’s critical priorities.


He said: “This marks a significant step toward reliable power supply. The genius of this initiative is that it promises a boost in supply levels to NESI without injecting public funds. Yet, it provides stable power where our economy needs it the most.”


On the choice of Enugu for the launch of the project in the South East which, according to him, was not based on geographical compensation, Senator Shettima further explained that “with its renowned industrial layouts in Emene and 9th Mile corner, the commercial and manufacturing direction, potentials, and promise of Enugu States align with our vision of fast-tracking the economic growth and influence of this project beyond the South-East, beyond Nigeria, and, in fact, beyond Africa.”


He however warned that as Chairman of the Board of NDPHC, he is under obligation “to hold every relevant official accountable and ensure that” the project is not abandoned.


Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State in his welcome address, thanked the Vice President for his professionalism and deep interest in the growth of the private sector and noted that “It’s indeed a new dawn for the power sector in the South East.

He said the project is of critical importance since it deals with the power sector which is pivotal for economic growth adding that it will translate to reduced power costs for the productive sector and create jobs.


Mbah said: “It aligns with our approach to governance in Enugu State. It’s a disruptive initiative, an innovative way to address the status quo.


“We are indeed happy to be associated with this as a region with a compact to the economy. With our population and market size of over 27 million, the opportunities are here.


“It’s initiatives like this that will drive the industrial growth we envisage in the South East and the reduction of poverty. It wouldn’t have come at a better time than this when we desire to boost our productivity as a nation.

“Let me enjoin our industrialists to take advantage of this initiative and remove any bottleneck to power use in the region. Let today go down in history as the turning point of power supply in the South-East,” Governor Mbah said.


Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State commended the federal government for the development. He also commended the National Assembly for removing power from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list but called for the unlocking of gas from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list to enable governors to tap into the opportunity and provide power for their states.


He promised that Anambra would grant the right of way to any power infrastructure project without hindrance.


Soludo said: “Enough of the lamentations; let’s focus on getting the solutions here. At the end of this programme, let’s come up with solutions. Power is like a driver, nothing else will happen without electricity.”


“If we do everything to fix the ease of doing business without power is an effort in futility,” he said.


The Governor of Ebonyi State, Francis Nwifuru called for the metering of all households needing electricity in the region.


He said, “There is no way people will be willing to pay for electricity with a lot of estimated billing.”


Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma noted that despite the huge investments in the power sector, Nigerians have no access to power.


“There is a need for a comprehensive audit of all investments in the power sector in the sector to know whether we go it right and wrong in the past,” he said.


Dignitaries present during the event were former Senate President and former Secretary to Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha; Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum, Downstream, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah; Senator representing Imo West senatorial district, Senator Osita Izunaso; Chairman Senate Committee on Power, represented by Senate Minority Whip, Senator Osita Ngwu, and Chairman, House Committee on Power, Hon. Victor Onyemaechi Nwokolo.


Others include Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu; Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi; Director-General of South-East Governors Forum, Senator Uche Ekwunife; Chairman, Board of Directors, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), Chief Emeka Offor; members of the state House of Assembly, heads of security agencies, the academia, power sector stakeholders and community leaders, among others.


The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited, Mr Chinedu Ugbo, said the inauguration provided an opportunity for the business community in the South-East Zone to interact with the VP and marked the formal inauguration of the South-East phase of the strategic collaboration between NDPHC and other project parties to provide steady and reliable electricity supply to industrial and business clusters across Nigeria


Ugbo said: “The Light up Nigeria project, which is the focus of today’s event, is led by NDPHC. NDPHC, a government-owned company, is responsible for implementing the National Integrated Power Project ( and operates a portfolio of gas thermal electricity generation assets in Nigeria. However, the optimal utilisation of these assets has been hindered by technical challenges and market constraints.”