By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURTâ€” GOVERNOR Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has assured that the power situation in the state would improve by 2011.Â
This comes as a director in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Billy Agha, identified scarcity and high retail price as part of the problems militating against the growth in Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) consumption in the country.
Governor Amaechi, who spoke at a session with media men in Port Harcourt, said already the government was putting finishing touches on an agreement withÂ Saipem to deliver 180 MW of electricity in the state.
He said the state government had alsoÂ awarded contract for the reactivation of street lights on major streets within the state capital and carried out maintenance work on the six turbines at the Omoku Gas Turbine station.
Amaechi said the state government was equally awaiting the 75MW of electricity to be generated from the Eleme Gas Turbine as well as 150MW from Trans Amadi, and expressed optimism that the challenges of electricity generation would be solved by 2011.
Continuing, he saidÂ Â contract for the dualization of Elekahia Road had already been awarded, adding thatÂ government was about awarding contracts for the dualization of Woji-Elelenwo, Iloabuchi, Ojoto, Azikiwe Roads with underground drainages.
Governor Amaechi, who noted that the state was undergoing some financial stress, said government was facing the uphill task of completing its on-going projects, stressing that about N100 billion was needed to pay for road projects and another N78 billion for the development of infrastructure in the education sector.
Meanwhile, the DPR director, Billy Agha, said at a summit in Port Harcourt that it was disheartening to note that the moment the statistics on LPG consumption in the country was less than 70,000mt per annum, describing the situation as very worrisome.
Agha, who was represented by Mr. Etutok I.G, said the nation had what it takes to be a leading LPG consuming nation, particular with its large population and rich deposit of natural gas and crude oil.
According to him, government is making efforts to grow consumption level at over one million tons annually within the next five years.
He said to achieve this, the DPR has restructured its gas division to be â€œa one stop centre for all LPG mattersâ€.
â€œWe have removed administrative bottlenecks, enhance inter agency and multi stakeholder collaboration,â€ he said.
Agha said the restructuring in the gas division was also to create enabling environment and a level playing ground for all stakeholders to thrive as well as minimize anti-competition tendencies in the LPG supply and distribution value chain