By Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€”CHAIRMAN of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) Enugu Zone, Mr Ikem Ogbozor, has said that the solution to unstable power supply in the country lies with government reactivating the 3,000 megawatts capacity Oji River Thermal Power plant, which had been abandoned by successive regimes in the country.
Rather than embarking on a new independent power plant in the South EastÂ zone, he said governments in the region should pull resources together to reactivate the Oji Power plant, which according to him, has the capacity to generate electricity that would effectively meet the needs of the zone, the South-South and parts of the North.
Ogbozor, who spoke with Vanguard in Enugu while reacting to public criticism of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) workers as being responsible for the epileptic power supply in the South East zone and Nigeria in general, noted that the current crisis in the power sector would have been averted if the past and present governments in the country had considered the reactivation of the Coal-fired Oji power plant in Enugu state.
He said that since the other nine power plants across the country depend largely on gas, which has been under supplied in recent times on account of the militancy in Niger Delta region, the Oji station, which uses only Coal that could be easily sourced from Enugu and neighbouring Kogi state, would have provided a great relief.
Ogbozor said, â€œit is rather unfortunate that the Technical Committee on Power set up by the former government of Olusegun Obasanjo deliberately ignored the Oji Thermal Power Station in its rehabilitation exercise.
Giving the difficulty in sourcing gas for the hydro-power plants, Oji which is the most reliable among the existing power generating stations because of the availability of raw material needed to sustain it would have provided the needed succour in the sector.