By Prince Okafor
After five years, the residents of Igbokoda in Ilaje Ese-Odo Local Government in Ondo South Senatorial Zone, have finally been connected to the national grid.
This came when the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo inaugurated the restored power project facilitated by the BEDC Electricity Plc. and Niger-Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC that jointly completed the rehabilitation project in the state.
With this commissioning, 10 out of the 21 distribution substations in the Igbokoda community came on with power supply, thus illuminating the town which had been out of supply for so many years.
Vanguard gathered that Larada, General Hospital Secretariat road substation, Ikuomola, Ilara, Orioketilu, Church substation, Okoga College road/Omotehin, GRA1, GRA4/NDDC and Broadstreet substations have been energized.
Meanwhile, BEDC noted that the project is an ongoing exercise and it is expected to extend to Okitipupa and other parts of Ondo South Senatorial zone in due course.
BEDC Head of Corporate Affairs, AdekunleTayo, in a mail stated that the restoration would bring positive effect on the social and economic activities in the area.
“It has always been the central town for inhabitants of the Ondo South Senatorial District comprising Okitipupa, Ireless, Ilaje, Ese-Odo, Odigbo and Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo local governments due to the presence of several amenities.
“The belief by the communities is that if the availability of power supply is addressed, other improvements will follow.
“The power outage has greatly affected social and economic activities in the area, just as people of the area have resigned their fate to living without electricity.”
It was also gathered that the Federal Government had directed the National Independent Power Project, NIPP to join forces with BEDC for the speedy rehabilitation of the whole network across four local governments namely; Okitipupa, Ese-Odo, Irele and Ilaje local governments in four phases.
BEDC had commenced rehabilitation work on the network but slowed down due to constraints of thick vegetation, and lengthy feeder which made the rehabilitation work prone to faults; a development, which accounted for the recent protests by youths of the affected communities.
BEDC and NDPHC had collected survey samples of other routes to be used in re-routing the affected lines for the areas under rehabilitation, as a permanent solution to hitches before the NIPP intervention support.
BEDC had extended restoration work to Ondo North, South, Odo Aye and Okitipupa, while 19 communities had been connected to the grid in Ondo South including Ore, Odigbo, Adaja and Liyetu among others. In Ondo North, 34 communities have been connected including Gedegede, Ikun, Eriti, Oke-Agbe, Ikare, Arigidi, Oba-Akoko and Ikaram among others.