Governor Samuel Ortom has praised President Muhammadu Buhari for focusing on the energy sector.
After listening to the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, speak at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi on Tuesday, the Governor said he was enlightened by the details of what the Federal Government was doing in the state’s power sector.
“You can do more to improve Nigeria’s power generation,” he said. I’m enjoying listening to you give these details, Minister. Personally, I am enlightened. And that is admirable. When there is electricity, industries will be flooded with workers.”
While advocating for federal, state, and local governments to work together to fund the power sector, he also stated that his administration is willing to support other initiatives to improve the state’s power sector because “electricity is key to industrialisation.”
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Governor Ortom said that since the Buhari-led administration took office in 2015, he has identified power and security as priority areas for attracting domestic and foreign investment.
He stated that his administration is committed to supporting federal projects, particularly those that focus on maximizing the state’s economic potential, and that it was in this light that he intervened to ensure that transmission lines pass through communities with compensation requests to the substation.
The Governor praised the Ministry of Power’s progress in providing electricity, describing it as an opportunity for Aliyu, the minister, to write his name in gold.
He then wrote to the Federal Ministry of Power, requesting that the cost of procuring electricity infrastructure not be passed on to customers by Distribution Companies, or DISCOs.
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Instead of leaving the responsibility to the end-users, the Governor explained that DISCOs, as essential service providers, should collect money from customers in the form of bills and use it to procure and or repair transformers and other electrical infrastructure for customer use.
He praised Senator Gabriel Suswam, who represents Benue North East and is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, for his contribution to the sector’s progress.
The Governor was previously informed by the Minister of Power, Aliyu, that they were in the state to inspect the work on the Yandev Power Substation, which is part of the Kashimbila Power Generation Dam’s trajectory.
He said the first phase of the project, which involved upgrading the substation, was completed and that it will be able to generate 40 megawatts of electricity, which will help the state’s power supply.
He said the transmission lines from Yandev to Makurdi and other parts of the state would be carried in phase two of the project, which had reached 40% completion.
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The minister, who was accompanied by Goody Agba, the Minister of State for Power, and other officials, said the project was part of the Federal Government’s efforts to improve power generation and distribution in the country.
According to him, the national grid has been upgraded and strengthened to the point where system collapse has been reduced to the bare minimum.