By Henshaw Nyong
Residents of Ewet Housing, Osongama, Shelter Afrique and other areas in the Uyo metropolis, have poured encomiums on Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, over steady power supply in the areas.
From his day one as the State Chief executive, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has been emphasizing his commitment towards providing steady power supply to the people, in order to boost his industrialization policy.
Observations revealed that apart from securing a licence by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to the state-owned Ibom Power Company to upgrade the Ibom Power Plant from 191mw to 685mw capacity, many substations have been built in some parts of the State, as a strategic move to having uninterrupted power supply.
Engr Donatus Akpan, a resident of D Line in Ewet Housing, and owner of a table water company, said: “We are enjoying steady power supply of recent in this area. Even though they sometimes take the light, it is just for some minutes, say 20 to 30 minutes.
“What we are witnessing now is different from how it was before this government came in. During the previous administration, electricity was rationed. They would give us for five hours only, and then give to other areas of the town for another five hours. Sometimes it might not even come at all, leaving our businesses to suffer. But today it is different. I must say we are doing well now with steady power supply and we thank the government for it.”
Abigail Inwang, a fashion designer along Oron Road, was elated with the improved power supply in their area.
She said: “I don’t know who is responsible for the steady electricity that we have recently. I thought they were allowing the light to stay permanently during ending of the month so that customers would be happy to pay their bills the following month. To my greatest surprise, I discovered that the light was still constant many days into the new month and till this moment. If they take it, few minutes or say one hour, light will return. The four litres of petrol that I bought since last month to power my generator is still stored in the gallon untouched”.
However, generator distributors are not totally happy about the improvement in the power sector of the State as they witness low patronage in the sales of the generators.
In the words of Chukwuemeka Ukadike, a Sales Manager at Ukadike Power House, “Since they fixed the electricity issue, people no longer buy generators, and this has affected our business. There is nothing we can do since government has done what it wanted to do on power supply.
Even though it is affecting us we just have to endure. I remember we made much sales and a lot of profit before this government took over. It was good for us then but since it is like this now, we don’t have to be selfish.”
Meanwhile, independent findings revealed that the State government, apart from her current achievements in the power sector and sweet stories, was on the verge of rehabilitating the 132KVA lines to be used in the distribution of the power, not only to Uyo, the State’s capital, but to other parts of Akwa Ibom, including Ikot Ekpene, Eket, Ikot Abasi, Oron, Okobo, Mbo, Urueffong Oruko, Udung Uko, Mkpat Enin, Eastern Obolo, Abak, Oruk Anam, Etim Ekpo, Uruan, Local Government Areas among areas.