Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom States says that his administration’s investments in the power sector development are indicative of his zeal to enhance electricity development in the state.
He said his administration has so far completed an injection power station along Edet Akpan Avenue in the heart of the capital city, and has just completed a substation at the airport which had hitherto been on 24hours of generating plant energy.
The State Chief Executive spoke when he received in audience the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola in his office.
He revealed that several major institutions in the state such as the Airport, Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Sheraton Hotel in Ikot Ekpene, had no link to public power supply, saying he was actively trying to get those places connected.
“I know today, when you are talking about power and the efforts of the state governments in this country, I think we will rank Number 1,” said the governor who stressed the need for two more substations in Uyo to actually tackle the power problem in the city.
He appealed to the Minister for approval of a 90MV transformer lying idly in the region, saying it will help in providing uninterrupted power supply in at least six Local Governments of the state.
“With that alone, honestly I can give power to at least 6 local government areas on a 24/7 basis because what we are generating, we are not evacuating, we can consume and I really want to believe, we want to create a little bit of an industrial hub around the Ikot Abasi Area where we have the Akwa Ibom Power station.”
Mr Emmanuel said the state-owned Ibom Power Plant is generating over 115 megawatts everyday, but lamented that the power of evacuation resides with the distribution company.
The Governor commended the Minister for bringing the 2018 Power Summit to the state, saying it was an indication that he was ready to partner the state to succeed.
Earlier, Mr Fashola had thanked the state government and people of Akwa Ibom for the unwavering efforts towards helping to improve the economy of the state and by extension the country.
He also thanked the Governor for the new industries which the Vice President came to commission recently, maintaining that, “this is the way really to grow the economy and create prosperity and opportunities for our people.”
He pledged on behalf of the President and the Federal Government to give continued support to power development in state, “by providing the Infrastructure in terms of power, roads and Housing within the remit of my ministry.”
Commending the Governor for providing land for the on-going National Housing Pilot Project which he earlier visited that evening, Mr Fashola said he was impressed with the young men working on the site, and suggested the need for access routes to the location of the project.
The Minister announced that the recently damaged substation transformer at Afaha Ube, Itam is being replaced, with the capacity raised from 120MVA to 180MVA.
He said this will help give some relief to places like Abak, Etinan, the Airport, Ikot Ekpene and so on.
He also explained that although it may seem slow in coming, the transmission company of Nigeria TCN is working hard to help improve transmission between Ikot Ekpene, Odukpani axis, adding that progress is being recorded.
Another area of partnership with the state government, Fashola explained was the Government’s provision of land to host the Ikot Ekpene switches station, “easily one of the largest if not the largest in the country. It has helped us to ramp up our power transmission since I came to commission it about a year.”
The Minister announced the approval of refunds for the substation executed by the state government, maintaining that “We count on this continued collaboration and we also are working to improve customer service at the last mile because all of these transmission, generations really means nothing to our people unless it translates to electricity.”