A typical Akwa Ibomite consciously or unconsciously will trumpet the words “Give us good roads, electricity and pay salaries and we’re okay”. Of course Governor Udom has proven himself equal to the task of satisfying those needs but the power sector has taken center stage recently. The Udom Emmanuel administration understands that readily available electricity would translate to increased profitability, cost efficiency and greater productivity for small and medium scale business owners.
The interdependence of the power and the industrial sector is of major concern to governments of developing countries like Nigeria. As such, the availability and cost of power supplies has a major influence on industrial development. Apart from 3 basic human needs, energy and electrical power play crucial role in development, social sector, education, health, transportation and industrialization for a nation.
Data on Genset Import/Export Trade, obtained by Vanguard from United Nations Statistics Division, showed that Nigeria is the second biggest market for generator driven economy in Africa, after Egypt whose import stood at $58.6 million, followed by Ethiopia $19.9 million; South Africa $18.6 million and Congo $6.9 million. Others are Zimbabwe $5.4 million, Niger $5.3 million and Mozambique $4.4 million.
Chief Executive Officer, Consistent Energy Limited, Mr Segun Adaju, has said a research by his organisation showed that Nigeria is the net importer of generators with about 70 million generators brought in the past few years. Such statistics underscore Governor Udom Emmanuel’s resolve to excommunicate Akwa Ibom State from the list of generator dependent states.
Governor Udom Emmanuel since assumption of office 2 years ago has paid special premium to the power sector and has iced his words with concrete action in a bid to end the power challenges in the State. Below are some of the achievements his government has recorded in the power sector:
Secured license for generation of 685 megawatt at Ibom Power Plant, Ikot Abasi
Rehalibiltation of PHED at Ekim, Mkpat Enin, electricity facilities in Ikot Ekpene, Ikot Abai Ekpu village and Nyaidiong, Mkpat Enin.
300KVA substation at Wellington
(c) Bassey Barracks, Ibagwa, Abak
Configuration and commissioning of GT 2 to enable IPP operate at 80 percent of installed capacity as required under the CBN-NESI Fund
Installation of “dead bus” technology, which allows Akwa Ibom to be an island of power supply during national grid outages
Most recently, a 33/11KV, 2x15MVA injection substation was commissioned at 4-lanes Uyo, part of the fulfillment of the Governor’s promise to build two substations in the State Capital. This has ameliorated the power challenges of the region with inhabitants of Osongama, Ewet Housing,Oron road and Nwaniba enjoying steady electricity as opposed to the near absence of power in the past. The testimonies pouring in in celebration of #IkangUdom has been heartwarming. A certain Barr.Edet Bassey, an APC Chieftain in the State forgot his portfolio as Publicity Secretary of the broom wielding sect when he stated that he no longer buys fuel to run generator but now enjoys improved power supply in the State.
Also worthy of note is the fact that the Independent Power plant generates over 150megawatts of electricity per day making Governor Udom the only Governor in the country generating that amount. Communities with low vandalism rates now enjoy 15-20hours steady light.
With the fast pace of development Akwa Ibom State is witnessing which has made it the second most preferred investment destination after Lagos according to the National Bureau of statistics, steady power supply will ensure investors feel safer in their domains, operate in a more eco friendly environment and save cost in the operation of their facilities. Limitless employment opportunities will spring up for the locals and many will earn a decent living from one venture or the other.
There abound in this rich land limitless investment opportunities in the Oil & Gas, Agro and Agro-allied industries, Marine, Aviation, Tourism & Recreation Sub-Sectors of the State economy for prospective investors within and without to take advantage of. #IkangUdom is a reality, make the best use of it.