Jonathan said during the ceremony in Umuobasiukwu, Alaiyi in Aba, that the second phase of the Alaoji Power project in Aba, Abia, would soon be completed.
“Power is key to development. Without power, micro, small and medium enterprises cannot do well. That is the focus of this administration.
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“For small businesses to survive, they need power. If small businesses generate their own power, their returns will be quite minimal and their turn-over will be too low.
“That is why we are totally committed and we promise you that the second phase of this project will be completed.”
He said that he refused to abandon the project which suffered a hitch at a point in its construction in 2009, because he wanted to ensure that Nigerians were provided with adequate power to run their businesses.
He thanked the people of Umuobasiukwu, Alaiyi, for providing the land on which the project was situated and for supporting the work of the construction company.
The president later cut the tape to inaugurate the 504-megawatt power plant constructed by Rockson Engineering limited.
In his speech, Gov. Chief Theodore Orji of Abia thanked the president for locating the project in the state and for helping the state to overcome the challenge of kidnapping which almost crippled the work.
He said that the inauguration of the power plant would remain indelible in the minds of Abia people and urged the president to help build the housing estate for the plant’s staff.
Also speaking, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, described the occasion as another day of joy and glory, especially for the power sector.
According to Nebo, all the NIPP projects across the country were moribund when Jonathan assumed office and he decided to revive them after touring the power plants.
He said that the Alaoji Power Plant was the fourth the president was inaugurating after the Geregu, Omotosho and Olorunsogo power plants generating 430 megawatts, 500 megawatts and 750 megawatts respectively.
He further said that the president would inaugurate six more NIPP plants would be inaugurated December 2015.
The Chairman of the NDPHC, Chief Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide, said that power plant was constructed wholly by a Nigerian engineering company, Rockson Engineering limited.
He noted that the project was a testimony of the “Can-do” power of Nigerians when given the opportunity to handle such big projects.
Arumemi-Ikhide thanked the president for using local content in running projects across the country and for giving Nigerians the opportunity to showcase their industrial capacity.
The president also commissioned the Geometric Power Plant in Aba before meeting with stakeholders in Aba. (NAN)