Disappointed by failure on the part of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) to provide constant power for the people of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel says the state is considering the establishment of its own electricity transmission company.
This would not be the first time PHED is negatively mentioned in the state as not investing in the development of power infrastructure, as such issues were earlier raised by the leadership of the civil liberty organization and Ibom Power.
The general belief is that as a state with an independent power plant, which is generating over 150 Megawatts of power and contributing about 115 to the national grid, and with the ongoing efforts by the state government which has led to the completion of two power sub-stations, Akwa Ibom would ordinarily have no business with blackout, if PHED had the mindset of a genuine investor who would keep investment ahead of gains.
At a press conference yesterday, as part of activities to mark the 32nd anniversary of the state creation therefore, Governor Udom Emmanuel made public the intention of the state to pull out of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) once it establishes it’s own transmission company.
Emmanuel noted that the state government has invested so much in PHED by building sub-power stations, injection stations and providing other electricity facilities, yet power supply in the state retains an epileptic status.
Also fingered to be sitting on the wheels of progress of Akwa aibom State is the Federal Government, due to its failure to pay the state for the power it is generating to the National grid.
His words “Akwa Ibom State is one state that has put more money in power than even what the Federal Government has put into any state in this country. There are some areas in the state that we generate electricity that can go round everybody.
“We generate 115 megawatts and the Federal Government is not even paying us for what we are giving to the National grid, it does not make sense. I told the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo when he came here, that we are going to do something drastic about it.
“We are going to check how to do our transmission and we are going to set up our own transmission company. I pay a lot of money generating power, we have enough electricity but PHED just decides not to give us light.
“When I ask, they tell me a lot of people in the villages are not paying for electricity. What about the assets I provide? I have not even been given credit for that; I invest so much and I get so little. The only way to solve that is to get our own transmission company and get ourselves out of PHED. We are working seriously on that.
“The Vice President just launched power for all by end of year 2021. We want to run with it; power for all by year 2021 is real,” he stated.
The governor lamented the continuous vandalisation of electricity facilities, saying that people within the state were working with outsiders to frustrate the efforts of the state government to ensure there is constant power supply.
He revealed that the State Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed recently recovered 19 stolen transformers ought by the state government from outside the state.
He stated that the vandals go as far as stealing armored power cables buried in the ground, thereby causing power outage, and urged citizens to join in the fight against vandalism and stealing of power installations by being watchful over such installations and reporting the activities of vandals to security agencies.