Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), of the company, Ambassador Yahaya Abdullahi Mohammed, disclosed this when he led a delegation of the company on a courtesy call on the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade in Calabar, Tuesday.
Speaking of the special attraction the state holds for investment, Mohammed said: “We were attracted to Cross River State because of the investors’ friendly environment the state offers, which is near zero crime rate as well as the governance style exhibited by Senator Ben Ayade.”
According to the company’s CEO, “We are ready to build a 300kms transmission line spanning from the southern to the northern part of the state under a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement. We are to provide the required technical knowhow and funding and in doing this, we will prioritize our recruitment of both skilled and unskilled manpower to favour Cross River indigenes.”
Offering insights into how the project will be funded, Mohammed asserted: “We have already secured 500 million USD and another five billion USD from the Bank of Scotland to assure you of our budgetary capacity, outreach, pedigree and our integrity.”
He also stressed that they were committed to the partnership and willing to work with the state to bring development to the door steps of the people of Cross River.
On the commitment of Buoshishi, Mohammed added: “We are optimistic and serious about executing this project to the latter because of the absolute confidence in your state. Not only will we partner you on power, but we are intending to fill the gap in developing the deep seaport too.”
Responding, Governor Ayade enjoined the company to explore the use of current technology in hydro power to generate electricity, as the state boasts of 126km of Atlantic coastline stretching.
He stated the readiness of the state to explore the generation of power from hydro carbon because it is less expensive and environmentally friendly.
“You have no business going outside Cross River State because the state has the right environment, it has the right character, it has the right people, and it has the governor who comes from a business environment.”
The Governor further disclosed that “As a state, we actually have 182kva transmission station from Odukpani to the northern part of the state. However, the transmission route is going through the new 260km superhighway and our concept is to gradually shift the entire state into the superhighway route because that is where all the factories, new cities are being built, so what you will do is to build this transmission line knowing that most companies are planning to relocate to Cross River.”
Ayade said the importance of the transmission line cannot be over emphasized, hinting that “Our business with you is to create a synergy that can enable you to evacuate power from Odukpani to the northern part of the state. However, the national power plant transmitting power to the northern part of Cross River State from Abakiliki has been dysfunctional with most of the conductors weak and poor, substations not working, resulting in huge loss of power across the transmission circuits, and so the people of the northern part of the state have for the past seven years not been having light. This new line will indeed be a great boost to the socio-economic life of the people.”