The Presidential Candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari, weekend, promised to create at least one million jobs for youths in the South-East by revamping the huge coal deposits in Enugu for generation of electricity and export.
The former head of state made the promise at Enugu West APC zonal rally, in Orie, Awgu Market, Awgu Local Government Area of the state. Although he was absent at the rally, he was ably represented by the state Chairman of APC Presidential Campaign Council, Osita Okechukwu.
He explained that the coal would be revamped with the objective of generating electricity to serve the entire South-East, to boost the economy of the zone.
“We are banking on huge coal deposits located at Amasiodo, Inyi and Leje axis of Enugu Coal belt,” said Buhari, who vowed to award the contract immediately he was sworn-in, if he won.
“We are going to award contract for mining and construction of coal-fired-power-plant unlike Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that since 1999 promised to revamp the coal fields and 16 years after, nothing has been done.
“We believe that coal is the most abundant fossil fuel in Enugu State and Enugu Coal is one of the most qualitative brands in the world, which means that while some are used to generate electricity, some will be exported.”
The APC candidate noted that his objective was to create one million jobs directly and indirectly, from the coal project, as ancillary projects would follow.
“My idea is to emulate the Taichung Coal-Fired-Power-Plant in Taiwan, the largest coal power station in the world. Coal supplies 46 percent electricity in the United States and over 60 per cent electricity in China. It is callous to abandon such golden treasure,” he said.
“For 16 years, every election Igbo voted for PDP and yet, the coal belt remains untapped, hence there is no commensurate reward. In 2014 budget for instance, over N600 billion capital projects were executed in South South, while less than N200 billion was executed in the South East, is that equity and justice?” he queried.