THE recent attention the Ondo State Government is according an Independent Power Project to power some key sectors of the state’s economy cannot but be a cheering news to all.
THERE is no doubt that Ondo State, particularly the Northern and the Southern Senatorial Districts, has suffered a total collapse of electricity supply in the last two years. The Central Senatorial District, which is the economic nerve centre of the state, is also badly affected by shortage of electricity.
THIS may be the chief reason the government recently signed a partnership agreement with Kingline Development Company to deliver a 1,100 MW Independent Power Plant Project (IPP). The first phase of the multi-phased project involves the construction of a gas-fired plant to generate power that will be sold into the national grid.
THE state government had already contributed a total land area of 250 acres at Omotoso to the project. The planned project is a crucial milestone that will make the state an industrial hub.
OVER the last five years, some other states in the country have also taken up the gauntlet by embarking on Independent Power Projects and have recorded moderate growth in their investments. These are part of the over 80 Independent Power Producers (IPPs) licensed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.
OUT of these, 17 of them have now commenced operations to boost electricity supply to Nigerians. Recently, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, announced that a section of the state would begin to enjoy 24-hour electricity supply, based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the government and an Independent Power company to generate five megawatts of electricity.
ON June 24, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, launched a 60 MVA transformer with a promise to sustain government’s investment in infrastructure in the power sector. This has resulted in the increase of the capacity of the station to 140 MVA. Tambuwal promised to evacuate about 30 to 38 Megawatts of electricity to the national grid when the state Independent Power Project is fully completed.
IN October last year, the federal government flagged-off Independent Power Supply initiatives to all the 40 Federal universities in the country with the ground-breaking 10-megawatts solar power plant at the University of Ibadan. This was in conjunction with the German Energy Partnership Project.
ABIA State which happened to blaze the trail as a pioneer power developer in the country, has established a power generating facility in Aba, with the intention of providing high-quality electricity to large industrial and commercial clients.
INITIALLY, the project consisted of the installation of a 141 MW gas-fired power plan,t over 110 km of 33 KV and 11KV sub-transmission lines, four new substations and capacitor banks for distribution. The project is presently owned by the Project Developer/Sponsor, Geometric Power Limited and other investors. This has transformed Aba into what is now referred to as “Taiwan of Africa.
NIGERIA today is generating 3,454 megawatts of electricity, which is said not to be enough for Lagos electricity consumers alone. That indicates a huge gap between demand and supply. Out of the 3,454 megawatts, over 1,000 are lost technically while only 2,000 actually get to the consumers.
WITH this, Nigerians over the years have continued to groan as industries are closing down. Many firms are thus making brisk business selling generators. The only hope in sight is the recent development where state governments on the country have decided to generate their own power to remain in business.
NOW that Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has promised to give the state a new lease of life by embarking on the completion of the power project, there is hope that the good old days of regular electricity supply, will soon be restored.
IT is an incontrovertible fact that the provision of stable power is very crucial to the development of the economy. Therefore, it will be a big leap forward if the project is completed.
THE HOPE urges the government to summon the political will to bring this to reality. It should match its proposed Independent Power generation plan with urgent action.