The Honourable Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite has described the amiable Monarch of Ugboba Kingdom, HRM Obi Ezedimbu Emmanuel Nkebakwu 111 as an ardent believer in community development.
He made this assertion while speaking at the historic milestone of the inauguration of MOSRA Energy Idowu Falola Coal Mines and ground-breaking for a 600MW Mine-Mouth Coal Power Plant in Ugboba community of Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State on Tuesday 23rd May, 2023.
The Minister acknowledged the dogged efforts of the Ugboba King whom he said, visited his office in Abuja to ascertain the authenticity of the mining project in his community, adding that when he was convinced, he was satisfied and had since then made frantic efforts to see the project succeed.
His words, “We are here to make history, and I must congratulate the king of Ugboba as one of the champions of this milestone achievement today. He has cooperated with the mining company by providing a peaceful and secure environment for the exploration to take place.
“It was a known fact that mining is destructive in nature, that is why miners must seek the consent of the host community before commencing operation.
“However, that destructive nature of coal mining in the past, is not the same as today, in the sense that there are modern equipment that have drastically reduced the destructive impact of coal. We gave MOSRA Energy Limited license to mine and generate power because, we trust in their capacity and experience.
“To this extent, MOSRA Energy took interest to mine in Ugboba, Obomkpa, Ugbodu and Ukwu-Nzu. To mine and export are capital intensive; that not withstanding, the company will also be generating power. Let me assure the people of Ugboba that the power to be generated must serve Ugboba and environs first, before others can benefit too. A lot of development is going to come in, it is no longer going to be business as usual, where companies take mineral resources from a place and leave the host community to suffer degradation.
“The community is part of the project and so must be factored into all aspects of the operation in terms of employment to indigenes, infrastructure development, provision of social amenities and others. I urge MOSRA Energy to maintain cordial relationship with this community as well as others that they will be mining from.
“Today, coal is on high demand because of the scarcity of gas as a result of the Russian war. Russia is the number one producer and exporter of gas. The drop in gas has shored up the demand in coal; and so those who initially said coal was bad are now the ones demanding seriously for coal. It was the policy of our administration to create alternative sources of power. I have advocated this everywhere in the world that I travelled to. I thank God that the effort is paying off today, with the likes of MOSRA Energy who bought into the idea and had been phenomenal in helping to realise this vision and policy of Energy sufficiency in Nigeria”, Adegbite explained.
The Chief Host and Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, ably represented by the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Emmanuel Amgbadugba said, the Delta State Government had worked to provide enabling environment for industries to thrive and that one of such initiatives was the inauguration of the MOSRA Energy Idowu Falola Coal Mines and ground-breaking for a 600MW Coal Power Plant in Ugboba.
While congratulating the Ugboba community for their show of responsibility and commitment to community development, he enjoined other parties to remain peaceful.
The Governor equally urged MOSRA Energy to adhere strictly to the MoU reached by stakeholders in the interest of peace and harmonious working relationship with the host communities.
In the same vein, he implored the host communities to avoid making overbearing demands on the mining company, in order not to discourage them from genuinely carrying out their social responsibility to the communities.
Being optimistic of the enormous benefits of the mining project to the community and state at large, the Governor affirmed that there was no doubt that the power that MOSRA Energy would produce from the coal and inject into power would impact greatly on the economy of the State.
In her speech, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade congratulated MOSRA Energy for their commitment to achieving their desired goal in Ugboba, despite daunting challenges usually occasioned by community disputes and misconceptions to mining.
She said, the MOSRA Energy historic ground-breaking in Ugboba did not come to her as a surprise, based on her overtime interactions with the company which did open up an experience of doggedness, visionary and focused leadership of the Chief Executive Officer.
“This occasion today, has marked an important turning point for all the stakeholders in the project. I pray God to breathe life into the project so that all its direct benefits to life will be actualized”, she said.
For MOSRA Energy Limited, the CEO, Mr. Olukayode Ramos commended all the stakeholders that made the historic ground-breaking possible.
He said he was honoured to witness the milestone made by his company in contributing their quota to the nation’s power reform.
Olukayode said his company’s partnership with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development was integral to the success recorded thus far, adding that the Minister, Adegbite provided solution to bottlenecks that would have hindered the progress made.
The helmsman of MOSRA Energy, equally appreciated Delta State Government for maintaining a secure and peaceful environment for mining operations to thrive.
Again, he specially commended the Monarch of Ugboba Kingdom, Obi Nkebakwu for his awesome, persevering and supportive disposition to the mining project.
According to Mr. Olukayode, “Electricity is essential to modern life. We need alternative sources of power to generate electricity for economic viability. Today in Nigeria, there is no coal power plant anywhere and we need to change that narrative.
“This ground-breaking for a 600MW Mine-Mouth Coal Power Plant in Ugboba is a milestone that will remain historic. It will create employment for our teeming youths, open up market for the locals, increase real estate value of property around Ugboba community, provide educational opportunities in scholarships, acquisition of skills and many other benefits.
“As a result of this project, we are carrying out so many projects within and around the community. We have a N1.2 billion road construction from Ugboba to Ukwu-Nzu which is in progress, we have completed an erosion control project to the tune of N237 million, we have supplied laptops to many indigenes and so on. We will do more, because this is a partnership that must work”, Olukayode affirmed.
Elated by the encomiums showered on him, the Traditional Ruler of Ugboba Kingdom, HRM Obi Ezedimbu Emmanuel Nkebakwu, thanked every individual that graced the ground-breaking ceremony.
He said the experience of the day was borne out of determination and commitment to the vision set out by MOSRA Energy Limited. “Thank you MOSRA Energy for the vision you have brought to my kingdom. We want to go on this journey with you”, he said.
He also thanked the Federal Government and Delta State Government for being supportive in making the vision come to fruition.
In all, he said without the belief in his person and support by Ugboba people to his rulership, the understanding of the MOSRA Energy vision wouldn’t have been possible to explain. He thanked them immensely for being his pillar of support, thereby asking God for more wisdom to continue to lead them the way He has ordained.
In clear show of validation of the mining activities of MOSRA Energy in Ugboba, about 10 Traditional Rulers from Aniocha North LGA, including Obi of Issele-Uku Kingdom, HRM Agbogidi Obi Nduka JP, Obi of Onicha-Ugbo Kingdom, HRM Obi Victor Chukwumalieze, Obi of Idumuje-Unor Kingdom, HRM Obi Charles Chukwunwike Anyasi 111, Obi of Ugbodu Kingdom, HRM Oloza Ayo Isinyemeze, Obi of Ezi Kingdom, HRM Obi Mohanyem, Obi of Idumuogo Kingdom, HRM Obi Samuel Otiegede 11, Obi of Ogodor Kingdom, HRM Obi Sunday Olisenweokwu, Obi of Onicha-Uku Kingdom, HRM Obi Raphael Agbamuche and others were there. The Presidents-General of different communities including the members of the Coal Committee comprising of Ugboba, Obomkpa, Ugbodu and Ukwu-Nzu were equally in attendance.