By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved a license for Akwa Ibom State to distribute electricity in selected location in the state through Ibom Utility Company.
This was made known on Friday in Abuja, after the approval presentation ceremony by NERC on Twitter.
The state government delegation was led by the Secretary to State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, Commissioner For Power, Hon John James and SSA to the Governor on Power, and The Managing Director of Ibom Power, Engr Mayen Etukudo
The Commission has also approved the application for an amendment of the on-grid electricity generating licence to enable Ibom Power Company Ltd. embed into the distribution network of Ibom Utility Company Ltd.
This development is a big win for Akwa Ibom State as Governor Udom Emmanuel at several fora had lamented the absence of steady power supply due to poor distribution despite heavy investment by the state government in power.
Recall that the state government had invested hugh resources from the state to improve electricity supply in the state. This includes the inauguration of a new 33/11KV, 2 X 15MVA injection sub-station in Uyo, the state capital.
He also built a similar 33/11KV, 2 X 15MVA substation to provide dedicated grid power supply to the state-owned Victor Attah International Airport with a dedicated 33kv line from Ibom Tropicana.
In addition, when the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), energized 132/33KV electricity transformers in Calabar and Lagos, Governor Emmanuel collaborated with TCN to commission a 132/33KV, 1 x 60MVA transformer at Afaha Ube in Uyo. This 60MVA transformer increased the state’s available power for distribution from 96megawatts to 144megawatts.
According to the Governor’s aide on power, Engr. Meyen Etukudo, the upgraded substation provides steady power to ten local government areas in the state including Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, Essien Udim, Obot Akara, Ini, Ikono, Ibiono, Etinan, Abak and Ukanafun.
TCN, the sole electricity transporter and link between generation companies and distribution companies in Nigeria, lauded the Governor for the partnership, which they said aligned with the incremental power policy of the Federal Government (FG).
Through collaboration with TCN, the state government entered into an agreement to build and commissioned a 132/33KV, 2 x 60MVA transmission substation at Ekim in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area.
The substation, which receives power from the state-owned Ibom Power Plant, has 33KV dedicated lines to Onna industrial hub, the location of Jubilee Syringe factory, King Flour Mills, Metering Solutions Manufacturing Services and the plywood industry.
It also provides steady power supply to Akwa Ibom State University and five local government areas including Onna, Mkpat Enin, Ikot Abasi, Eastern Obolo and Orukanam. In addition, Akwa Ibom State Government has secured a 30MVA transformer for the proposed construction of the Ikot Abasi substation.
In spite of these investments in the last seven years, some residents of the state decried the total blackout or epileptic power supply in their areas.
The outage was due to the privatisation of power distribution assets and Federal Government’s total control of power transmission, as Akwa Ibom State government did not have much say on the assets’ utilisation.
With this new approval, Akwa Ibom is set to independently manage its power resources and distribute them effectively.