Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu
The apex socio-political body of the Igbo, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has expressed disappointment over the Federal Government’s inability to revive coal production in Enugu.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, while campaigning before the 2015 elections, promised to revamp the moribund coal industry, which had been abandoned for several years.
Buhari had promised that the abundant coal deposits in Enugu would be harnessed to grow the Nigerian economy, and also generate employment opportunities for youths in the South-East and other parts of the country.
The then All Progressives Congress presidential candidate had also assured the people that the coal deposits would be used to revamp the Oji River Power Station, which generated electricity for the defunct Eastern Region.
However, about three years after Buhari won the election and assumed office as the President, the Enugu coal mines have remained moribund.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mr Chuks Ibegbu, on Sunday said the Federal Government’s failure to revive coal production in Enugu was disappointing.
Speaking with our correspondent in Enugu, the Ohanaeze spokesman said coal deposits in Enugu could transform Nigeria’s economy if the Federal Government decided to develop the sector.
“We are very much disappointed that the Buhari-led Federal Government has not been able to fulfil the promise to revive the coal industry in Enugu.
“It is very unfortunate that the coal mines seem to have been forgotten.
“But we will continue to remind the Federal Government of the urgent need to revamp the coal industry in Enugu, and in so doing, also revive the Oji River Power Station,” Ibegbu said.
The Ohanaeze spokesman noted that the revival of the coal industry would be to the benefit of the entire country, and not only the South-East geopolitical zone.
“We all know that coal was driving the Nigerian economy before the discovery of oil in the Niger Delta region,” Ibegbu said. (Punch)