Ebonyi State Government and a Chinese company, Foshan Sunchees Energy Company of China, on Monday sealed a four million dollar solar power production agreement in furtherance of the government’s efforts to improve electricity in the state.
The State Governor, David Umahi, said in Abakaliki that the deal marked a watershed in the state government’s vision and aspiration towards improving industrial activities in the state.
He enthused: “Our vision is to make Ebonyi the leading industrialised state in the country as it is the first time in the country that a government is aiming at energising the entire local government areas of a state.
“The 13 LGA Chairmen of the state have appended their signatures in support of the project and we assure our citizens that we are not purchasing energy from China,” the governor added.
Umahi, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Kelechi Igwe, at the forum said that the agreement was a product of his economic trip to China, noting that the company is globally recognized as a leading solar power manufacturing and distribution entity.
He explained further: “It will establish a factory to manufacture solar panels in the state and subsequently make Ebonyi, a leading manufacturer, distributor and marketer of solar panels in the country.
“We are hopeful that in the future, the state will be exporting solar energy beyond Africa. The problem of poor execution and maintenance of projects experienced by most governments in the country is due to lack of due diligence in supervision and maintenance.
“The situation is however different with Ebonyi as we will monitor, supervise your work and not rest until you execute all you stipulated in the agreement. We are eagerly waiting for you to mount the first solar panel factory in the state as this would make our industrial dream come true”, the governor stressed.
While assuring on the readiness of the state government to abide by the terms of the contract, Umahi commended local government chairmen in the state for their diligence and partnership in the project, noting that it would be one of the legacies the administration would bequeath after its tenure.
In his remarks, the leader of the Chinese company’s team, Mr Jack Chen, thanked the state government for its belief in the project and promised that his company would fulfil its own obligations as spelt out in the terms of the agreement.
He said: “We are happy to be in partnership and sign this agreement with Ebonyi government.
We know the state’s logo to be the ‘Salt of the Nation’ but we hope that in the future, it will be Power of the Nation.”