Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has given the assurance of his commitment to provide enabling environment for industrialisation and growth in small and medium scale enterprises in the state.
The governor gave the assurance during the inauguration of a new 1×60MVA, 133/33KV Power Transformer at the Electricity Transmission Sub Station at Afaha Ube Itam in Itu local government area on Monday.
According to him, electricity remained the foundation for his industrialisation agenda.
The governor who acknowledged the collaboration with Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN particularly thanked the company for the quick response after a recent fire outbreak that gutted facilities at the Afaha Ube Power Station.
The governor said his government had to sign a contract for more fire equipment for the State Fire Service to take control of such ugly occurrence in the future alongside other precautionary measures.
He expressed the hope that with the inaugurated power facilities at Afaha Ube, the substation earlier commissioned at Edet Akpan Avenue, Uyo, would be able to have light 24 hours a day.
He expressed joy over the development saying, “Today, let me also say that we are marching towards there. Honestly, it is very easy, in the next one year, between 15 and 18 months, I can do power for all in this state conveniently with what we have done.”
He cautioned against vandalism and called on the people to protect power installations in their areas, explaining that it will be to their detriment if they allowed vandals to do away with the facilities.
Governor Emmanuel warned that only verified staff should be allowed access to the sub-station, noting that the approach was a way of checking incessant vandalism of electricity facilities.
The governor also told the people about the ongoing collaborative efforts between the state government and TCN in the construction of a new power station at Ekim in Mkpat Enin local government with a promise to inaugurate it in May 2018.
He announced his intention to discuss with the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC to make the tariff affordable for Akwa Ibom people considering the fact that transformers and cables are provided by the state government.
He however encouraged electricity consumers to pay their bills to enable the distribution companies serve them better.
While reacting to a remark by the village head of Afaha Ube Itam, the host community, Chief Gabriel Edet, the governor said he had so far given four transformers to the community and promised to direct the Special Assistant on Power, Engr. Meyene Etukudo to send his team to check and ensure that the community had electricity.
“You cannot host this kind of asset and then you do not have light. It does not happen anywhere, certainly, we will do that plus other things we are trying to do around this area,” the governor explained.
According to the governor, “there is nothing in this world today that you can do without electricity, so if I can fix light, I am moving seriously towards the cottage industries that we are promoting. So let our youths also take advantage of this and look at what they can do for themselves because power is provided.”
The Managing Director of TCN who was represented by the Head, Transmission Service Providers, Engr. Victor Adewumi, said in line with incremental power policy of the present Federal Government, the company was implementing transmission rehabilitation and expansion programme by extending its network, building new substations and strengthening the existing stations all over the country.
The TCN boss said, “the capacity of the substation, prior to the installation was just 120MVA, with the commissioning of the 60MVA, it has now increased the capacity of the substation to 180MVA.”