The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has charged private investors in the energy sector to develop small distribution networks for easier and more efficient solution to the nation’s power problem.
Fashola gave the charge on Thursday while inspecting the ‘Energising Economy Electrification’ project at Ariaria Market, Aba, the economic hub of Abia.
The project is being handled by the Rural Electrification Agency.
He said that small distribution networks initiative was a product of the present administration’s power sector recovery plan.
“This is why we are telling those providing power using gas and solar to develop smaller solutions as the generator companies are doing.
Fashola said that doing smaller solutions was easier and more efficient than producing thousands of megawatts which would cost so much to transmit from the point of generation to the end users.
“It is for the private sector to rise to the challenge to make smaller solutions, instead of dealing in 5,000 megawatts and 10,000 megawatts that would be transmitted over 200 kilometers to the consumers.”
He described the Ariaria Market project as a perfect example of the Federal Government’s approach to tackling the challenges in the power sector.
The minister further said that the project demonstrated the federal and Abia governments’ commitment to providing service to the people, irrespective of constitutional provisions on jurisdiction.
He expressed joy that the initiative had successfully provided regular power to 37,000 shops in the first phase at Ariaria, while 50,000 shops would benefit in the second phase.
the minister further said that the project had helped to save over N7 million spent daily on generating sets in the market.
He said that plans were under way to install 150 KVA and 100 KVA transformers for distribution of power in the market.
He said that when fully harnessed, the project would help the Aba entrepreneurs to go full blast toward the realisation of the government’s agenda on increasing local production of goods.
The minister also inspected the ongoing construction of 72 flats under the 2016 National Housing Programme of the Federal Government at Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia.
He said that the project, which was still at the foundation stage, due to some structural modifications, would be delivered between nine and 15 months.
He said that the programme was going on simultaneously in 33 states of the federation and had reached advanced stage in other states.
Fashola also inspected the ongoing rehabilitation of Section III of the Calabar- Itu-Ikot Ekpene-Aba Road and Section II of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, being handled by Brent Investment and Arab Contractors Nig. Ltd respectively.
In an interview with newsmen, he restated Federal Government’s genuine commitment in tackling the infrastructure deficit in different sectors of the nation’s economy. (NAN)
The two-day inspection visit to the state will continue on Friday.