Udom’s giant strides in power generation for industrial development
Five years ago, Governor Udom Emmanuel took the oath of office. It was expected that he would sustain the economic activities and provision of infrastructure set in motion by his predecessor.
Sustainable infrastructure development would eventually industrialise Akwa Ibom State, however, without steady power supply, industrialisation is beyond the realm of reason.
It is probably the reason Governor Udom Emmanuel put so much into the development of power infrastructure in the last five years.
First, it appears the Governor hit the ground running when barely eighteen months into office, he inaugurated a newly built 33/11KV, 2 X 15MVA injection sub-station in Uyo, the state capital.
His predecessor and former Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio cut the ribbon at the commissioning.
The new electricity substation provided more than 18hours daily power supply to Shelter Afrique, Ewet housing, Osongama, Nwaniba, Edet Akpan Avenue, Brooks street and Ibom Hotels to mention but a few. Widespread commendations trailed the improved electricity supply in these parts of Uyo, which the Akwa Ibom online community dubbed ‘Ikang Udom’ (Udom’s light).
Thereafter, the Governor built a similar 33/11KV, 2 X 15MVA substation to provide dedicated grid power supply to the stateowned Victor Attah International Airport with a dedicated 33kv line from Ibom Tropicana.
In addition, when the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), energised 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).
Not done, Udom Emmanuel, again, collaborated with TCN and entered into an agreement to build a 132/33KV, 2 x 60MVA transmission substation at Ekim in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area. The last time a transmission substation was constructed in Akwa Ibom state was twenty years ago. As part of activities to celebrate the state’s 32nd anniversary, the Governor invited Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to commission Ekim 132/33KV, 1 x 60MVA substation. The substation, which receives power from the stateowned 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 five years, some residents of the state have decried the total blackout or epileptic power supply in their areas. Unfortunately, due to the privatisation of power distribution assets and Federal Government’s total control of power transmission, Akwa Ibom State government does not have much say on the assets’ utilisation. Nevertheless, the governor’s intent to fulfil his promise seems clearly expressed in the power infrastructure development across the state.