Dangote Industries Limited, and its strategic global partner, The Black Rhino Group, have officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the commencement of the construction of a 100 megawatt of Solar Power Plant in the northern Nigeria biggest business city of Kano.
The two companies are to jointly invest $150 million in the development power plant initiated by the President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote to help resuscitate economic activities which is on the verge of collapse in the state.
Speaking during a brief signing ceremony, Mansur Ahmed, group executive director, Dangote Group, who signed agreement on behalf of the company with the Kano State Government, said that the company would from this week start discussion with the residents of the community where the project is being sited.
According to Mansur, if things work out as planned, the actual development of the physical structure of the plant which is going to be a state-of-art renewable energy is expected to start before the end of the year.
“On behalf of Aliko Dangote, Group President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, it is my honour and pleasure to sign this Memorandum of Understanding between our Group and the Government of Kano State for the proposed 100MW Dangote-Black Rhino Solar Power Plant.
“This MoU is yet another milestone in the evolving partnership between the Dangote Group and Government of Kano State in our determined efforts to bring about the much needed improvement in the economy of our great state and the welfare of our people.
“As we all know, Kano’s pre-eminent status as a great entrepot and centre 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,” Mansur said.
“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 realisation of the fact that gross inadequacy in supply of reliable and affordable electricity was one of the critical challenge facing the state’s economy.
“This project which will, on completion, add 100MW to the state’s electricity supply, is therefore fully in line with our Group’s strong commitment to contribute to the reinvigoration of the state’s economic potential and over all national development.
“The Power Plant which will be fully financed jointly by Dangote Industries Limited, and our global Strategic Partner-The Black Rhino Group, will be a State-of-the-Art renewable energy plant that will convert the abundant energy of the sun into quality clean electricity with no deleterious impact on our environment.
“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 are working towards promoting a healthy relationship with residents of the communities where the project is to be sited, in order to ensure a smooth take off of the project.
“Let me also assure the government and people of the state, 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 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 to be a part of this development,” he explained.
Usman Alhaji, secretary to the Kano State Government, who signed on behalf of the state governor, promised to give all necessary support for the actualisation of the project.
Adeola Ajakaiye, Kano