By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
The Cross River State Government, Tuesday in Obudu local government commissioned a 3 megawatt diesel fired electricity generating plant in Obudu launching a ‘willing seller, willing buyer’ initiative to supply electricity to about 3,000 consumers.
The governor, Senator Ben Ayade, represented by his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu while commissioning the facility located behind the field office of the Ministry of Agriculture along Ranch Road said that the value of electricity cannot be quantified.
“This will boost the setting up of small and medium scale industries and other businesses” Esu said, adding that “The import of power cannot be underestimated as the multiplier effect cannot be valued”.
Furthermore, Esu said as a test run, the facility will run for 10 hours per day with families expected to sign up for it as soon as possible and are expected to “pay a token” to sustain the project.
He also solicited the support of the Obudu people in order for the administration of their ‘son’ to succeed.
Earlier, the Special Adviser, Public Utilities to Governor Ben Ayade, Iyadim Amboni said the decision to embark on the project was borne out of the fact that the power situation in Obudu was epileptic as there was poor supply from the 132kv line from Abakaliki which was over 700 kilometres long thereby leaving Obudu with a “candlelight” situation.
He said the project which was conceived in October 2015 will see “a total of 2,991 consumers benefit from this scheme with 2,815 residential consumers and 176 commercial consumers”.
The event had in attendance the secretary to the state government, Barrister Tina Agbor, Chairman of Obudu Local Government Council, Emmanuel Ugbe, and several notable personalities across the social, political, security and academic divides in the state.
However, amidst the pomp, a twist of event occurred as a group could be heard querying why the light was given to “some portions of the grid by 10:00 a.m. till 10:56 a.m.” when the test run was been done while others along Ukwel-Obudu road and Ogoja road did not enjoy the “show”.
Also, our reporter on the ground in Obudu reports that the light went off hours after commissioning yesterday and has not been restored till the time of filing this report this morning.
CrossRiverWatch gathered from a reliable government source that the project which is in conjunction with the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC cost about 300 million Naira.
It will be recalled that CrossRiverWatch had reported that in northern Cross River, people have been paying for darkness due to the unavailability of electricity since January 2016.
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