By; VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The Federal government has given approval to Cross River government to generate a 21 megawatt electricity to supply uninterrupted power in the metropolis.
This gesture was as a result of the state government’s desire to provide steady power supply in the state capital.
The governor, Senator Ben Ayade, made this disclosure while speaking to newsmen during a routine inspection of the facility along parliamentary Extension Road, Calabar.
Ayade said “we have received a license to generate and sell electricity and the certificate is in our pocket. From the regulatory point of view and of course, we hold a discussion with the distribution company to reach an agreement on our tariff system”.
Explaining further he said “the state will recoup what it has expended on the project.We have willing buyers and a willing seller’s agreement. That is the option we are going for which will help us to negotiate with the metropolis and the public to agree on what the selling regime would be so as to have a healthy relationship and guarantee them steady power at a reasonable cost”.
On how the entire state can benefit from the initiative, Ayade said “we have a structure that is already running at Obudu where we have three megawatts power supply installed by Cross River government in our first year and more are on the way”.
He declared “our hope, like you have all heard is to give two megawatts to all the local government areas by 2019. But I assure you that by the end of this year, all the local government headquarters would have alternative power supply.
On the appropriate tariff structure, he maintained “the philosophy is cost reflective tariff and we have to be sensible and sensitive to the people. We just want to be able to have value for money and not over stress our people”.
“Record has it clearly that Cross River and indeed Calabar, has the highest compliance in terms of tariff payment, be it water, or electricity bill. It is only in Calabar that people go without any urge or any prompting/into the banks to pay their electricity and water bills, he added”.
This singular act shows “the level of civilization we have here in Calabar and I am so happy that we have power plant which would go a long way in transforming the socio-economic landscape of the beautiful city, he added”.
On whether the 21 megawatt plant would be ready by May 29 to mark the administration’s two years in office, he said “we’ve set May 27th as the commissioning day of this power plant and I’m happy to announce that a team from South Africans, IPS, are actually working in Obudu Cattle Ranch to give us renewable energy.
Earlier, the Project Manager, Mr. Charles Parker, assured that work on the 21 megawatt power plant will be delivered as stipulated, saying that “80 percent of the job has already been executed”.