In 2008, the Sokoto State Government signed an agreement with Vulcan Capital Energy of the U.S., via its Abuja-based subsidiary Vulcan Elvation Limited, to build an independent power plant (IPP) at a cost of N3.8 billion ($23.2 million).
Located in the Arkilla area of the Sokoto metropolis, the new IPP is intended to boost the low power supplies, of around 15MW, the state receives from the Nigerian national grid, by contributing an extra 30-38MW to Sokoto’s power mix. Security of energy supplies is essential to attracting businesses and industry to the region, which could profitably process the state’s abundant raw materials to generate employment and thereby build up the momentum of its socioeconomic growth. As such, despite the project being subject to various setbacks along the way, including delays in receiving letters of credit and deliveries of heavy-duty equipment from abroad – around 95% of the components at the plant are foreign – the government has been determined throughout to bring this project to fruition and insists its completion is within sight. In addition to the IPP, Governor of Sokoto State Alhaji (Dr.) Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko is also keen to attract investors who could maximize the state’s potential to harness its natural sources of energy, such as opportunities for hydroelectricity generation at Goronyo Dam and its abundant solar power potential. According to the governor, in 2012 his administration spent around N818 million on providing solar street lightening in selected areas in the Sokoto metropolis and Gwadabawa local government area.