The future of Nigeria is threatened with darkness if the current Federal Government policy on power transmission that domiciled the service in the hands of only the Transmission Company of Nigeria is not reviewed.
Engr. Etido Inyang, the Chairman, Ibom Power Company Akwa Ibom State, who spoke with newsmen in Uyo on Wednesday, said the survival of any nation lies in the number of companies it is able to establish to generate employment for its citizenry.
The Ibom Power boss stressed the need to unbundle the power of TCN to accommodate states and other investors interested in holding interests in transmission.
Inyang, however, expressed hope that with a new initiative by the Federal Government and stakeholders, the problem of power evacuation could be addressed. He identified poor electricity infrastructure as the major challenge of electricity distribution in Nigeria, and warned that the country would face a bleak future if some of the issues domiciled in the exclusive list were not sorted out.
His words, “Not just because of the darkness we will face by not having electricity but you can imagine the effect on our productive capacity. The manufacturing plants will not be able to cope and millions of people will lose their jobs and with same number being turned into the labour market from higher institutions every year the situation could be unimaginable.”
He applauded Governor Udom Emmanuel for his commitment towards realising the “power for all” and 24-hour power supply in the state, adding that with the initiative to complete ongoing three major power sub stations in the state, Akwa Ibom will soon become a major power hub in the country.
“The 4-lane power sub-station was commissioned last year and has drastically improved power in Uyo environs, the Ekim sub-station will be completed in the next one month and the state government is making plans to boost the Ikot -Ekpene sub station.
“The Ekim sub-station will definitely carry the load of about five LGAs and we have discovered that boosting the Ikot Ekpene sub-station will also help the state to improve power in the surrounding LGAs and so the state government is working on a plan to boost that area too.
“Already residents of Uyo are enjoying at least 20 hours of power except for areas with problems in their transformer or transmission lines and the vision is for the entire state to enjoy such levels of electricity supply.
“That explains the commitment of the state of Governor Udom Emmanuel in the power sector. You also recall that the Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola had earlier called him Mr Power because of his efforts in ensuring that the state become a power hub in the country.” He explained.
The main challenge of government according to him remained retaining power within the state. He note that investment in transmission and distribution facilities was necessitated by the inability of PHCN to provide electricity infrastructures.
Inyang said in a renewed move to improve the quality of service to consumers in Akwa Ibom the new metering company located in ONNA LG of the state has so far produced and distributed 40,000 pre paid metres to electricity consumers in the state.
He expressed concern over the huge debt owed GENCOs by the DISCOs, adding that though the Federal Government support on gas purchase has helped to alleviate some of their problems, more challenges would be faced by the GENCOs when the agreement would come to an end this year.