Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has said his administration is committed to achieving 24 hours electricity supply for every household in the State by the end of the year 2021, despite continued vandalisation and alarming theft of power installations.
Akwa Ibom State has an estimated population of six million people.
Governor Emmanuel said the availability of electricity should be a matter of right of every resident of the State.
Speaking at a media briefing as part of an event marking the State’s 32nd anniversary, the governor emphasised government’s commitment to improving electricity supply as part of a deliberate plan to enhance the ease of doing business in the State.
“We are very serious about actualising the power for all by the year 2021. My administration has invested heavily in power infrastructure but we are not getting an output that is commensurable to our investment. Despite this, we are developing a plan to ensure that the State is self-sufficient in electricity by 2021.”
“When we came in, the Ibom power plant was not working. But, through our efforts, General Electric has rehabilitated it. We are trying to find a way around the challenge of power distribution which is exclusively handled by the federal government.”
Governor Udom Emmanuel administration has built three power sub-stations within four years. The newest of the sub-stations at Ekim, Mkpat Enin local government, was commissioned alongside a flour mill and plywood factory, by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Saturday 21st September, during events marking the 32nd anniversary of the State.
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However, Governor Emmanuel has decried alarming theft and vandalisation of power installations like armoured cables and transformers in different parts of the State.
“Recently, we procured about 20 transformers, but they were stolen before they even arrived at the State. The Commissioner of Police said they recovered ten of it. The had also arrested a syndicate which specializes in stealing electrical equipment and recovered another 19 transformers.”
“It is our people who are doing this in connivance with people outside the State. We need to discourage this.”
He said his administration’s commitment to the actualization of its completion agenda is irrevocable, calling on the people of the State to avoid attaching political biases to the successes of his industrialisation drive.
“When we are celebrated as we currently are, as the only State with a fully functional airline, it is not just a PDP achievement, it is an Akwa Ibom achievement. When the 18 industries that we have successfully attracted and established, help create jobs for our teeming youths and the attendant value chain, it is not just a PDP achievement, it is an enduring Akwa Ibom story.”
“The Flour mills that was commissioned by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo a few days ago is for all Akwa Ibom people. The Plywood and Timber Factory that was equally commissioned by the Vice President, will not only be defined as a PDP achievement, neither will the furniture industry that will benefit from this factory be used mainly by PDP members – it will be an Akwa Ibom success story. So, it will be wrong for anyone to play politics with these achievements.”
Governor Emmanual encouraged journalists in the State to play-down on sensational political reportage but should focus on helping the government to market the investment potentials of the State.