By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
The Cross River State Government has acquired a license from the federal government to generate 21 megawatt (MW) of electricity, the Governor, Ben Ayade said Tuesday in Calabar.
“We have received a license to generate and sell electricity, and the certificate is in our pocket. Everything is from the regulatory point of view, and of course, we held discussion with the distribution company to reach an agreement on our tariff system” Ayade said at the site of the power plant which he had announced will be delivered in February 2017.
The Governor said issues concerning tariff, supporting infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the state to drive the industrialization process initiated by his administration are currently been sorted out.
Ayade who decried the policy of the federal government which makes state not recoup funds spent on power infrastructure however said there are plans in place to prevent that from happening. He said the tariff will reflect a philosophy that is a “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 stressed our people.”
“We have willing buyers and 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 that we would have a healthy relationship and guarantee them steady power at a reasonable cost.
To support the 21 MW plant in Calabar, Ayade said that; “We have (a) structure that is already running at Obudu where we have three megawatts power supply installed by the state government in our first year and more are on the way.
“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.
“Record has it clearly that state 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.
“That 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.”
The project, Ayade had said in 2016 will be delivered in February 2017 after an it became obvious than an earlier deadline of December 2017 will not be met. However, he set a new deadline and pledged the project will be delivered on time and expressed satisfaction with the progress of work.
“We have set May 27 as the day to inaugurate 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 support system and in combination with what we have here, I have full optimism that on May 29, Calabar will indeed have 24 hours of electricity supply from the 21 megawatt power plant.
“The progress of work here has been very fast, we just have the cooling system to fabricate and have the eternal units installed. The radiators are already in place, so the mechanical completion that is required would take another three weeks. The cabling will continue and hopefully, I am sure the mechanical and electrical aspect would all be done any moment soon.”
In a similar vein, the Project Manager, Charles Parker reiterated Ayade’s pledge that the project will be delivered on time as work is over 80 percent complete.
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