…Vows to ensure power restoration
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – DEPUTY Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum, Upstream, Senator Gershom Bassey has dragged the Managing Director, 4 Power Consortium Limited, Matthew Edevbie to the National Assembly to explain why there was perennial darkness in most parts of Calabar Metropolis.
Senator Bassey who is representing Cross River Central Senatorial District said that because of darkness, business activities have dropped in Calabar Metropolis, while the over bearing heat was compounding the situation.
The Managing Director in charge of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC, after several hours in the senate, told journalists that as a result of the intervention of the senator, there was a tripartite arrangement to ensure that the problem was resolved as quickly as possible.
He said, “Yes, Distinguished Senator Bassey summoned me over the poor power situation in Calabar Metropolis for some time now to come and explain to him what has been happening, what we are planning to do to resuscitate the situation at this time.
“And we have explained to him that Calabar is one of the first places that had power in the South of Nigeria and its power network has consequently become very old.
“The conductor and the systems are completely outdated and they have been failing. This predates our takeover of the distribution company. Because of these old conductors, we have been having series of accidents in Calabar.
“As a result, we have decided to peg the line, the specific areas in Calabar that seem to be giving us some particular issues. We have the Cameron feeder which originally was supposed to be able to carry about eight megawatts of power.
“Today, as soon as power exceeds four megawatts because of what we call in rush current, the light trips. There are places like Edibe-Edibe, Anantigha and other parts of Calabar South experiencing the same problem.
“The feeders in Goldie and Airport cable feeder also are affected. So a lot of Calabar has the problem and we think that some of the things that need to be done is actually commissioning a two by seven point five MVA Injector sub-station, as CRUTECH and also the one by Diamond Hill so that we can deload the Essien area for proper flow of current into the town so that we will not be having rejection and conductor breaks that are dangerous for mankind.
“With the help of the Distinguished Senator, we have been able to talk with the Managing Director of NIPP, who is willing to collaborate and the Distinguished Senator has also undertaken to get the State Government involved.
“We are going to have a tripartite kind of arrangement whereby NIPP in the Port Harcourt Distribution Company and the state government under the able guidance of the Distinguished Senator representing Cross River South, we are going to have meetings and come up on how we are going to have the solution.”
Also speaking, Senator Bassey said he was worried that some part of Calabar Metropolis had been in darkness for a long time and vowed to do everything within his powers to ensure that power was restored.
He commended the State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade for always playing a fatherly role especially the interest he has shown in the tripartite arrangement with the National Independent Power Plant, adding that the total black out had affected economic activities in the area.