By Jide Ajia
The Dangote Industries, a Subsidiary of Dangote Group, and its strategic global partner, Black Rhino Group, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for commencement of a 100 megawatt Solar Power Plant construction in Kano State.
Accordingly, the two companies are investing $150 million in the development of power plant initiated by the Dangote Group Pesident, Aliko Dangote, to help resuscitate economic activities which is on the verge of collapse in the state.
The Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, Mansur Ahmed, said that the company would from next week start discussion with the residents of the community where the project would be sitting.
Speaking during a brief signing ceremony, Mansur, who signed the agreement documents on behalf of the Dangote company with the Kano State Government on Thursday, stressed that if things worked-out as planned, the actual development of the physical structure of the plant which was going to be a State -of –art renewable energy, was expected to start before the end of 2017.
According to him, it is Dangote honor and pleasure to sign the MoU between the group and Kano state for the proposed 100MW Dangote, Black Rhino Solar Power Plant.
The pact, Mansur said was yet another milestone in evolving partnership between the Dangote group and the state in the group’s determined efforts to bring about much needed improvement on Kano economy and that of welfare of its people.
“As we all know Kano`s pre-eminent status as a great entrepot and center of commerce in the sub–saharan region for almost two centuries has sadly declined over the past three decades as a result of sustained contraction of the state`s once vibrant industrial and commercial activities. Arresting this decline and restoring the state`s economic vibrancy must therefore be the desire of every citizen of the State. Our Group President, being an eminent son of the soil cannot but share this aspiration” he noted.
Mansur disclosed that the intervention by the company was borne out of the realization of the fact that gross inadequacy in supply of reliable and affordable electricity was one of the critical challenge facing the State`s economy.
He averred that the project which would, on completion add 100MW to the state`s electricity supply, was fully in line with Dangote group`s strong commitment to contribute, to re invigoration of the state’s economic potential and over all national development.
“Let me size this opportunity to, once more express the deep appreciation of our Group and our Partners to the Government and People of Kano State for the grant of the sizable land on which the project will be built. This will indeed significantly accelerate the delivery of the Project estimated at over $150 million and thus make the electricity more affordable” he added.
Mansur pointed out that the company and its partners were working towards promoting a healthy relationship with residents of communities where the project is to be sited, in order to ensure a smooth take off of the project.
“i want to also assure the state government and its people, especially the communities around the project site that as a responsible corporate citizens, Dangote Group and our partners, the Black Rhino Group, are fully committed to working closely with our hosting communities in a manner that ensures a harmonious, sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship.
“To this end it is our intention to begin immediately to work with the relevant Government agencies and the leaders and representatives of the host communities to develop a comprehensive and robust Community Engagement Plan that will enable all key Stakeholders be a part of this development” he explained.
Also speaking before the signing of the agreement, Secretary to the Kano State Government, Usman Alhajiwho, on behalf of the state governor, promised to give all necessary support for the actualization of the project.