By Adekola Afolabi
After 11 years in total blackout, the people of southern senatorial district of Ondo State would begin to access electricity at the end of this month.
This cheery news was broken yesterday by the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu while playing host to members of the Ondo South power Project Committee who paid him a visit.
The visibly excited governor told the committee members headed by the Abodi of Ikale, Oba George Faduyile that government will not tolerate any further inhibition after surmounting several challenges at reconnecting the area to the national grid.
He lauded the commitment of the Executive Director of Niger-Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, Engineer Ifeoluwa Oyedele who the governor said worked with him tirelessly to secure the support of the Vice-president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to actualise the promises made to the people by him to restore light to the area after having stayed so long in the dark.
”Nobody is happy that the South has been in darkness for so long. But it is not a thing within the power of what the state can do. What the state can do is to mount pressure on those who are in charge”, the governor said.
Governor Akeredolu outlined several other interventions his administration was making at ensuring steady power supply to parts of the state to include the NDDC contract on repair of Power Infrastructures and the State Government Independent Power Plant Project in Ore.
”As you know, we have our Ore Power Plant which belongs to the state. It is getting ready as all pipes for power transmission are being laid. We will get one leg to supply light to the South and the other leg to supply light to the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo”, he said.
Briefing the governor, the Chairman of the Ondo South Power Project Committee, Oba Festus Olumoyegun, the Oniju of Iju-odo, said tremendous progress has been made to reconnect the district to the national grid.
Oba Olumoyegun said power transmission to the area would be gotten from Omotosho Transmission Company of Nigeria but that existing power infrastructures would be used adequate repairs or replacement where faulty.
Also, the Abodi of Kale who is also the Chairman of Ondo South Power Project, Oba George Faduyile, appreciated the Governor Akeredolu and Engr. Ifeoluwa Oyedele for their concerted efforts at getting the South out of darkness.
Earlier, the Consultant for the power project, Engr. Idowu Desmennu said despite the long journey of about two and a half years, a success story was in the offing, stating that by the end of November, power would start to radiate in Ondo South Senatorial District of the state.
Engr. Desmennu said:”We have met with NDPHC, we have signed power purchase agreement with the community and the NDPHC. By the grace of God, by Friday, we are going to pay N371Million as security deposit for power we are taking to the South.
He added that over 10,000 prepaid meters were ready for the take off of power distribution supply channels to consumers involving different value chains: Transformer and Transmission.
“None of the transformers are working except three in Okitipupa. We are going to replace all the transformers so that they can have electricity. Where we don’t have enough, we put there. Where we have bad ones we change them. Because without these things it can’t work.
“Now, there are some areas where there are no network, we have planned to do it. I want to tell you that from the day we started, we have not collected a kobo from Ondo South and we will not collect a kobo until after three months when the power starts to roll expect their recharge cards and our recharge cards start from N300.However an individual who wants to use N100 a day can buy recharge card and use.
“It’s a new thing and all thanks to Engr. Ife Oyedele who availed us the opportunity of the 5% of power being generated in Omotosho power plant that can come to the community. We bided for it and the community is now distributing it.
“TCN has directed that all the needed support be given to us. And I believe between 15th and 30th of November power will start to radiate and by December and January, we will be welcoming you and the Vice President to come and commission the project,” he said.