PHEDC, NDPHC 24-hour Electricity Deal : At Last, Jedy's Effort Produces Results Eight Months After

Honourable Minister of State, Power, Goddy Jedy Agba, OFR 

Upon assumption of office, Goddy Jedy Agba, OFR, Honourable Minister of State, Power, promised to work round the clock to implement the President Muhammadu Buhari administration's power agenda. The President during his campaigns in 2015 and 2019 had promised Nigerians to bring drastic change that will transform the nation's power sector. 

The government has not failed in keeping to this pledge as the administration in February, this year achieved all-time high power generation  and new national transmission peak of 5,584.40MW with maximum daily energy at 116,891 14 megawatts hour. 

While major cities in the country have benefitted from this development, Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State which doubles as Nigeria's first capital was yet to enjoy 24-hour electricity even though power supply has generally improved in the past few years. Being that the Minister of State, Power is from the State, such didn't go down well with some people. 

Perhaps, a lot of people did not know that the Minister was as worried as them. Although, he has repeatedly appealed to Cross Riverians to understand that his responsibility is to cover the entire country, he has not and will not forget his root and primary constituency which is his state. 

Committed to seeing a new regime of electricity supply in the state, the Minister,  around August last year visited the power plant at Ikot Nyong in Odukpani Local Council of the state to cement the negotiations he's been having with the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, the government agency in charge of the plant for a better electricity deal for Calabar and its environs. 

One of such deals was that 10% of the total power generated by the power plant should be dedicated to improving electricity in Calabar. 

On the issue of estimated billing, the Minister disclosed during the meeting that, with the deregulation of the meter tarrif, the federal government was importing meters that will be distributed free of charge to Nigerians. He discussed that not fewer than 120,000 was earmarked to be distributed in Calabar. 

The Minister said that "my office have been working with the NDPHC and PHEDC to ensure steady power supply in Calabar by dedicating some percentage of what is generated in the Odukpani power plant to the area. Our discussion have been very fruitful and in the coming months, we'll begin to see the results"  

He added that "as a government, we're also very concerned about the issue of estimated billing. This is why the Federal Government approved the importation of Smart Metre to be free of any tarrif charges. So, in a short while, people will have meters to know what they consume and pay for the same". 

Henry Ajagbawa, Managing Director of PHEDC who was 

represented by his deputy, Kingsley Achife in the meeting assured that arrangements had been finalised towards a 24-hour electricity supply to customers in Calabar and its environs. 

He explained that it would be achieved through the upgrading of supply from 45 megawatts presently serving the capital city and its environs by taking an additional 100 megawatts of electricity from the 625 megawatts capacity power plant at Ikot Nyong to make it 145 megawatts

Eight months after, the Minister's intervention is now yielding the desired result as the agreement between PHEDC and NDPHC to provide 24-hour electricity was signed over the weekend. 

Acting Manager, Corporate Communications, PHED, Chioma Aninwe over the weekend announced the partnership agreement in a statement. 

According to Aninwe, "by this development, PHED is collaborating with NDPHC to supply 100MW of excess power from Odukpani power plant to Calabar Metropolis exclusively. Network Optimization will be carried out in order to rehabilitate the network and increase the network capacity to ensure it can meet 24/7 supply to Calabar.

“The projects have already begun and one has been completed, which is the construction of one unit of 15MVA (1×15 MVA) at Adiabo in Odukpani. PHED is also to construct a substation at Akpabuyo Local Government , all aimed at showing commitment to resolving the community’s electricity issues". 

Responding to the development, the Minister said that "I'm very excited that our modest efforts is yielding results. I'm proud of the the PHED and NDPHC teams who have made this possible. I want to assure them of my continued support". 

He added that "two weeks ago, when we were commissioning project in Obudu Ranch Resort, I said that we've finished arrangements for improved power supply in Calabar and Cross River South. In the next few days, we'll going to Ikom to commission another solar power projects. 

There are many other projects in the pipeline that I don't want to talk about until we achieve them. I want to assure my Cross River people that, although my responsibility is to every part of the state, I'll not forget their plights"

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