By Akanimo Kufre
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, has commended the Akwa Ibom state Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for the state’s huge investment in the power sector which according to him has added value to the improvement of the sector in the country.
The Minister gave the commendation during a courtesy visit on Governor Udom Emmanuel at the Hilltop Mansion, Government House, Uyo, assuring the Governor that facilities at the Afaha-Ube Power Substation recently gutted by fire would soon be replaced with upgraded facilities to ease distribution of power.
Fashola who was in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital for a Power Summit, applauded the efforts made by the state Government as regards economic development of the state and country particularly with the establishment of Industries and identified power as a catalyst to overall development.
He cited the Jubilee Syringe Factory, and the metering factory which were commissioned by the Vice president recently, describing them as a step in the right direction noting that the factories would improve economy of the country and create job opportunities for the people.
He further stated that the Federal Government would continue to support the state in the provision of necessary infrastructure so as to aid development in the power sector, as well as roads and housing sectors which fall within the ambit of his ministry.
The minister also assured that facilities at the Afaha-Ube Power Substation in Uyo which was gutted by fire would soon be replaced with upgraded facilities to ease distribution of power to cover more areas of the state.
Fashola announced Federal government’s preparedness to refund monies expended by the Akwa Ibom state Government on transmission line extension of which the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN owed the state Government.
Governor Emmanuel while welcoming his guest, thanked the Minister for selecting the state for the hosting of the power summit.
He stated that Akwa Ibom state was far ahead of other states in the development of the power sector in view of it huge investments in the Ibom power plant and provision of the power substation amongst others.
He lamented that many areas of the state have not been linked to the national grid, noting that there was still a deficit in power distribution.
He however, appealed to the Minister for assistance in providing a transmission substation to facilitate evacuation of over 150 megawatts generated in the Ibom Power Plant for the benefit of electricity consumers in the state.
It is expected that deliberations by various stakeholders at the Power summit would address the challenges of the Power sector in the country with a view to improving the sector for the development of the country.