Akwa Ibom May Pioneer Uninterrupted power Supply In Nigeria
Governor Udom Emmanuel says he is working to ensure that Akwa Ibom becomes the first state to achieve uninterrupted electricity supply in Nigeria.
Speaking at the 25th Nigeria’s Power Sector Stakeholder monthly meeting held in Uyo, Governor Emmanuel said a substation is being built at Ekim as a test run facility for uninterrupted power supply to five Local Government Areas around the clock before moving gradually to other areas.
He noted that out of the 115 megawatts produced by Ibom Power Company, it can only evacuate 80.
The Governor expressed optimism that with the calibre of stakeholder’s monthly meetings being held, the passion and commitment, there will be a great success in the nation’s power sector.
The Governor lamented the regular vandalism of power facilities, stating that it is a major problem which puts greater burden on the social services by Government.
He called on all hands to be on deck from the consumers, generating and transmitting companies in the ongoing efforts to address challenges in the sector pointing out that with such approach, they were nearing solutions to electricity problems in Nigeria.
The Governor said he has inaugurated a committee tagged: “Power for all by 2019” to ensure that every house owns a digital meter explaining that the cardinal point of the five point agenda of his administration is also the motivating factor to ensure electricity generation and distribution
He thanked the Minister and other stakeholders for the presentation of the Meter Access Provider Regulations 2018 to him and the acknowledgment of Akwa Ibom as number one power state in the country.
The Governor explained that the Akwa Ibom State based Metering Solution Company can meet the need of the entire country and called for collaboration with Distribution Companies in that direction.
According to the Governor, “We provide almost 1,800 Metres everyday but that is based on demand and we have the capacity to do much more than that.”
He assured that given the opportunity, the state based company can meet the entire gap of four point six five million.
The Governor said as at now, the state Government had spent one hundred and forty four billion naira on Federal roads and assets within Akwa Ibom and called for refund.
The State Chief Executive announced that by September this year, work will start on a new 500 megawatt generation substation at Ibeno.
In an address, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola said the substations in Uyo and Calabar were completed and ready to be energized pointing out that the substation in Uyo is to be expanded.
The Minister said the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN was making progress and delivering results, one of which was the regulation that will ultimately democratize access to metres for power sector consumers.
He said over the last one month, the World Bank has approved four hundred and eighty six million dollars to support TCN’s transmission and expansion projects among other things.
According to the Minister, “Negotiations are still progressing to secure funding for rural electrification, DISCOS, GENCOs and TCN on how to implement the new customer policy and increase connectivity to the 2,000 megawatt that is available.
There are indications according to the Minister, that what is outstanding is the agreement on the Tariff that will be paid by eligible customer.
He explained that substations in Keffi, Karo, Abeokuta, Nasarawa and other places have been completed and now in service stating that it was a continuous understanding by TCN to expand its capacity across the Nation.
He spoke of the appreciation of solar power in some parts of the country explaining that government was moving away from theorizing on power to the actual position of efficient power to support businesses.
The Minister who thanked NERC for concluding matters on regulations earlier presented to the meeting said that implementation was the next step and solicited the cooperation of all stakeholders in the value chain.
He stated that the promise of steady power is real, noting that with perseverance, Nigerians will enjoy uninterrupted power supply which is the final destination of the journey.
The Minister advised against any intention to blackmail government and hold the citizens hostage by generating companies and assured critical stakeholders doing businesses in the power sector of government’s support and partnership.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Ibom Power Company, Engineer Meyene Etukudo spoke of efforts by the company to live up to its responsibility but lamented high indebtedness by its creditors.