By Okon Bassey in Uyo
The industrialisation policy of the Akwa Ibom State Government has begun to unfold with the inauguration of two factories in the state by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The factories, a Jubilee Syringe and metering companies, were inaugurated by the vice president in Onna Local Government Area as well as General Hospital in Etinan Local Government Area at the weekend as part of activities to mark the 30 years of the creation of the state.
Osibanjo noted that with the coming on board of the metering solution company in the state, assess to power by consumers would be made easy.
He expressed concern that the electricity distribution companies (Discos) cannot collect tariffs efficiently because they were unable to afford cost of metering.
The vice president said the federal government has put in place policies, including independent metering companies and agents, to ensure electricity consumers have their meters for steady and efficient power supply.
Â â€œWe have identified that a lot of the Discos are unable to collect effectively their tariff from the consumers because they are unable to afford the cost of metering.
â€œIn the first place, we are going to have independent metering companies and agents. It is now opened and anybody can take a batch of consumers on meter.
â€œThis is important and innovation because it means there is no restriction on those who can actually meter our consumers.
â€œWe are certainly looking for this company opening up this factory in different part of Nigeria. I think the country is opened up for this kind of enterprise,â€ he said.
Inaugurating the syringe manufacturing company, Osibanjo expressed delight that the state government has keyed into the policy of the federal government to produce what its needs.
â€œLet me say how excited I am to inaugurated this project just as the Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has said, this is a land mark project for the country not only for the state because it is strictly important in what we have been talking about for the past two years producing what we need,â€ he said.
Osibanjo lauded the state government for theÂ innovation and creativity, and for encouragingÂ investorsÂ into the state, saying it was a landmark project.
â€œThis factory is a game changer in the sense that from now on, we will be looking forward to producing practically all our syringes locally,â€ he stated.
Speaking earlier, the Governor, Emmanuel, said with the metering company, each household in the state will now have power supply based on demand.
Â â€œWe noted that today, Nigeria with over 170 million people consumes an average of 600 million syringes in a year, and 100 percent of that are imported into the country. So we made a bold step that syringe importation into the country would be stopped,â€ the governor stated.
The syringe factory, the governor said, is100 percent private investment, adding that with the factory, more should be expected in term of foreign exchange
â€œWithin six months, we will upgrade to one billion syringes. Our hope is that within the next five years, this should produce at least four billion out of six billion consume by Nigerians,â€ he said.