<<< By Terver Akase >>>
The Benue State Government has commenced the process to generate 10 mega watts of power as part of its industrialization policy.
To deepen the commitment of the state to the power project, Governor Samuel Ortom today met with the Acting Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Commission, NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.
The meeting which was the first between Benue State Government and NERC over the project, centred on the regulatory requirements which would enable the state to commence power generation.
Governor Samuel Ortom who was accompanied by the Commissioner for Works, Transport and Energy, Emmanuel Manger, the Project Director of the intending investor, Contec Global, Dr. Sashi Mozumder, the Chief of Staff, Hon. Terwase Orbunde and other principal aides, said it had become necessary for the state to source extra power supply to boost its industrial drive.
The Governor said the main challenge of industrialization remained poor electricity, pointing out that when completed, the project will not only benefit the industrial layout in Makurdi but also increase power supply to other parts of the state.
“I chose to come here personally because of the importance we attach to the proposed project. We believe that this can help us to stabilize power in the state. We are following due process, so we want NERC to do the necessary technical procedures to permit us to start”, the Governor stated.
Responding, the Acting Chairman of NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah expressed delight at the interest and commitment shown by the Governor in ensuring that the people of the state enjoy improved electricity in their homes.
He assured the Governor that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission will give Benue the needed support to meet its target.
Dr. Akah said NERC has a regulatory framework which encourages states to participate in the electricity supply chain, adding that Benue will benefit from Governor Ortom’s initiative.
The Project Director, Contec Global, Dr. Mozumder, said the company carried out feasibility studies before it arrived at the 10 mega watts, giving assurance that as soon as the State Government concludes the process of obtaining a license from NERC, work would commence.
Trading Under High Tension Cables
Another issue which came up during the visit was that of trading under high tension cables. NERC Acting Chairman, Dr. Anthony Akah told Governor Ortom that many traders in parts of Makurdi still operate directly under high tension cables; a development he described as dangerous and condemnable.
The Governor directed the state’s Commissioner for Works, Transport and Energy to ensure that no trader is seen selling under high tension cables in any part of the state.