By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade says the 21 megawatts power plant initially scheduled to be delivered this month will be completed in February 2017.
Ayade had said in August that the facility will be ready by December to ensure 24 hours supply of electricity but failed to give reasons earlier this week why it has been shifted to February 2017.
“As you can see, there is massive construction work going on here at the site, we are putting the structural base for the installation of the 21 megawatt power turbines that have already been delivered on site” said an excited Ayade while on routine tour of the facility located along Parliamentary extension in the outskirts of Calabar metropolis.
“We have set February 17, 2017 deadline to deliver uninterrupted 24/7 power supply to Calabar metropolis. With this singular effort, Calabar will be the first capital city to have uninterrupted power supply in the country.
“The good thing is that this is the product and manifestation of the several Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) I had signed early last year and today, we are at the construction stage to deliver on this all important project.
“As you can see, there is so much energy as, several young men are already engaged and we are making plans to engage some of them permanently as maintenance staff after the construction.”
On the status of the power plant, Ayade explained that the project was a Public Private Partnership (PPP). He said that the state was working in partnership with a Brazilian American firm which is also collaborating with the Cross River State Power Company.
He warned against lethargy from the side of the contractors. He said that; “It is to ensure that no contractor is paid until he meets the milestones set. So, if you bring me an IPC, I must check to ensure that you have delivered as declared by the agencies concerned before you receive your payment.
“Secondly, I am driven by the passion and determination, which is why I am always on site instead (of) sitting in the office. This is rather very alien to me and that is why I am on site daily to ensure that we catch the pace because money is scarce, every little kobo will be accounted for” Ayade said, adding that; “my excitement is that work is also done according to specification and approved designs.”
However, he disclosed plans put in place to ensure power supply during the yuletide to include an agreement between the state and Lilleker Bros limited and Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company with the provision of “88 new transformers across the city centre for improved power supply to ensure that all parts of Calabar are lit this December.”
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