Senate Probes Poor Power Distribution in Delta 

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

The Senate yesterday mandated its Committee on Power to investigate the delay in the distribution of 100 megawatts of electricity to communities in Delta North senatorial district and take immediate action.

The Red Chamber also urged the Federal Ministry of Power and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to step-down the electricity generated as agreed by the Okpai Independent Power Plant to ensure it benefits the communities in Delta North.

The resolutions of the Senate followed its consideration and adoption of a motion by Senator Ned Nwoko (PDP – Delta North).

The motion was titled: ‘Need to address the unexplained delay in Electricity Step-Down of Okpai Independent Power Plant’.

Nwoko noted that: “Nigeria boasts 23 power generating plants, also known as Independent Power Plants (IPPs) interconnected with the National Grid.

“These plants have a combined capacity to generate 11,165.4 megawatts of electricity.  One of these facilities is the Okpai Independent Power Plant, situated in the Ndokwa East Local Government Area of the Delta North senatorial district in Delta State.

“This power plant operates a functional 930-megawatt gas-fired power generation facility that contributes to Nigeria’s power supply grid.”

He also noted that the IPPs are managed by independent power providers and the Niger Delta Holding Company.

Okpai, according to him, is an independent power plant operated and managed by the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC).

He said in April 2005, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, inaugurated the Okpai Independent Power Plant and ordered the immediate implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report for the plant.

The senator said: “This included the provision of 50 megawatts of electricity to benefit the host communities within a 50-kilometer radius from the plant.

“At the time of the plant’s unveiling in 2005, it generated only 480 megawatts of electricity.

“Nevertheless, it played a crucial role in the national power distribution system in Nigeria by supplying electricity to nine distant states in the country, including Anambra, Enugu, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, among others.

“Also we are aware that Okpai Independent Power Plant has been upgraded to provide a functional 930 megawatts of electricity with another order and understanding to increase the power supply to host communities from 50 megawatts to 100 megawatts.

“This extension will include host community beneficiaries from the entire Delta North senatorial district of Delta State. The Okpai Independent Power Plant has earned a reputation as the most consistent power plant in the country.

“To enhance its electricity supply, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) awarded a contract worth approximately N4.2billion in 2021 for the construction of a 132KV Double Circuit Transmission Line.

“However, to date, there have been unexplained delays in executing the contract project.

“Worried that despite the presidential pronouncement in 2005 and the upgrade of the Okpai Plant to 930 megawatts, the people of Ndokwa nation and the entire Delta North Senatorial District continue to lag seriously behind in the supply of electricity.

“This is the case even though the Okpai Plant hosts several oil companies in its vicinity, including Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Sterling Exploration and Energy Production Company (SEEPCO), Energia Limited, Mid-western Oil and Gas Limited, Pillar Oil Limited, Chorus Energy Limited, and more,” he said.

Senators, in their contributions, supported the motion and voted to adopt its prayers when they were put to voice vote by Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.

Akpabio, thereafter, referred the motion to the committee on power for further legislative work and to report back to plenary in one month.

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