11th January, 2022
By Muftau Ogunyemi
Ondo State Government, in partnership with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), has set up a joint team to improve power supply across the state.
The Commissioner For Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Razaq Obe, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Akure on Tuesday after a business meeting with TCN, led by the General Manager Transmission, Osogbo, Mr Bakare Kassim.
Obe said that the team would also be resolving all impediments against early completion of the 2 by 250 MVA Akure station to supply power to the state and parts of Ekiti state.
He explained that the major issue against the early completion and energising of the Akure substation, was the resistance by the owners of landed properties along the established routes, also known as the right of passage/ways of the transmission lines.
He lamented that the problem had continued to impede actualization of the trunk A transmission lines that would bring power from Oshogbo in Osun State, and Ihibo from Edo state, to Akure, thus stalling the energising of the Akure substation that had been completed since 2017.
The Commissioner, however, expressed confidence that the issue would be resolved soon, judging by the synergy between the new ministry and TCN officials.
“A joint team of the ministry’s and TCN officials that has been set up, will from next week, begin on-the-spot identification and assessment of the troubled areas along the right of ways of the turn – key project to ensure its amicable resolutions,” he said.
Obe agreed with the TCN that successive governments in the state had not done enough in the area of collaboration with the company towards engaging communities, and landed properties owners effectively.
Obe said that the ministry had concluded plans to call a stakeholders meeting of all concerned.
He also said that the state government, through the ministry, would engage and educate them on the benefits of the project.
Responding, the General Manager, TCN, Transmission Osogbo, Bakare Kassim, commended Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for the creation of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, which he described as visionary and timely.
Kassim listed the challenges of effective delivery of power supply to the state to include; delays in completion of projects, vandalisation of TCN facilities, and lack of robust community relations and engagements, before, during, and after the projects had been delivered.
The TCN boss, whose jurisdiction were Osun, Ondo, parts of Oyo state and Kwara states, called for all-round security checks and surveillance on TCN facilities, especially by local security apparatus like Amotekun and hunters.
“If security agents, specially Amotekun and local hunters, can join others to secure and protect our cables and others, it will put an end to the unpatriotic attitude amongst some Nigerians who vandalise our facilities,” he said.
According to Kassim, efforts being made by TCN to restore power to the Southern Senatorial Zone of the state, include the ongoing 2 by 150 MVA substation being constructed by NDDC at Erinje in Okitipupa Local Government.
He explained that the substation had the capacity to change the socio-economic lives of the people once completed.