James Sowole in Akure
Work has reached 85 per cent completion for the 132/33kv transmission sub-station being constructed by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Okitipupa area of Ondo State.
The transmission station on completion, would provide supply power to over 2,000 communities spread across five local government areas of Ondo South Senatorial Districts of Ondo State.
The Interim Administrator of the NDDC, Mr. Efiong Akwa, disclosed this during an inspection tour of the project site in company of the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and the Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura, as well as the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.
The five Ilaje, Eseodo, Okitipupa, Irele and Odigbo government areas of Ondo State, had been without electricity supply for more than 12 years.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said he was excited that the Commission was constructing a power station in the oil-producing area of Ondo State, noting that both President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio were interested in seeing to the completion of the project.
He said: “What I have seen here is massive. I didn’t want to stay in the office and send directors to inspect the project. When the contractor presented an update on the project to us, I insisted on coming to see things for myself. From what is on ground here, this is a massive electricity project and a lot of money have been sunk in here.
“We have gotten to a point of no return. For this project, I can tell you that there is no retreat, no surrender. We have to complete this project and put it to use as soon as possible. As it is now, we have done about 85 per cent of the job.”
Akwa promised that the NDDC would assist the contractor to tackle the challenges of sourcing foreign exchange for the procurement of some of the equipment that needed to be imported, stating: “We will be a bit practical to address the issue of getting foreign exchange for the importation of some of the equipment. We will authorize the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to debit our dollar account, so that we don’t have issue of foreign exchange short falls.
“This project is very important because it will serve five local government areas in the oil production belt of Ondo state. When you provide light to a people, you have provided life. So we are committed to providing life to the people.
In his remarks, Governor Akeredolu praised the NDDC and the Interim Administrator for making efforts to release the necessary funds that would facilitate the completion of the project.
He said: “I appreciate the NDDC under the watch of Efiong Akwa. This is a new era in the Commission and our people in the five local government areas in the southern part of the state will forever be grateful to the NDDC for making efforts to give us light.
“He has even gone the extra mile of assuring that money will also be released from the Commission’s foreign account to take care of the importation of some of the equipment. I will not forget this visit and I am sure that the people in this area will be very happy with what the NDDC has done for them.”
The governor said numerous oil-producing communities spread across five local government areas of Ilaje, Ese-Odo, Okitipupa, Odigbo and Irele, all in Ondo South Senatorial District, would benefit from the sub-station.