Energy Expert Commends Akeredolu on IPP, Says Power Sector Should be Decentralised

5th March, 2021

Toward a sustainable electricity supply in the country, the former Senior Special Assistant on Power to Governor of Ondo State, Engr Tunji Light Arimoyo has advocated for decentralision of power generation and distribution in Nigeria to enhance adequate power supply to all and sundry.

He stated while delivering lecturer as the guest speaker to marked the 2021 World Engineering Day organised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Akure Branch in conjunction with the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) held at the T I Francis Auditorium of the institution.

Engr Arimoyo who speaks on the theme ” Engineering for a healthy planet” said to improve access to clean energy supply and achieve sustainable development, there is need to decentralised renewable energy systems and also for government to review the policies on renewable energy developement.

He said despite the huge investment in power sector by successive governments in the country, much has not been achieved in terms of output, noting that incapacitation of meeting annual budget on power is another setback to electricity generation and supply.

In his words, ” power generation should be reviewed, a push that Nigerian Society of Engineers should champion to measure up with the international power regulation.

Arimoyo noted that, House of Assembly should make law in respect to their state most especially in area that does not fall under the national grids. ” Over centralization has been a serious menace to power sector”.

He declared that the Integrated Power Plant (IPP) embarked on by the governor was due to his determination to ensure every community in Ondo State has access to electricity.” Up till the last day of Governor Akeredolu in office, we were working and assuring the people that his second term would ensure every IPP project is completed”

” Most IPP are at completion stage; we have the Akure-Alagbaka Power Plant, OSUTECH Power Plant, Owo Power Plant, Ondo Power Plant and Ore Power Plant. The Ore IPP was totally abandoned since 2012 but the Governor instructed us to work with ONDIPA to ensure the project is reactivated and all dispute surrounding the project is resolved.”.

While commending the government of Ondo State for being proactive in resolving power challenging, he said specific instructions from Governor Akeredolu during his first term in office profferred solutions to power outage in some communities in the state.

” Mr Governor gave a specific instructions to us on how to ameliorate the power starving conditions that our people were subjeted to in every part of the state”.

He disclosed further that, there was limitation to carry out the assignment given to them by the governor due to the Power Sector Reforms Act 2015 that centralised the sector.

” To overcome this challenge of centralization, the government create a frame work within the law that enable Ondo State to take advantage and invoke constitutional provision in area not covered by the national grid system. The specific and material section of the constitution are section 14, 15 under concurrent legislative list Part Two, 2nd Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended”.

He said the invocation of the constitutional provision enabled the state government to have Ondo State Power Sector Law 2020, thereby bringing investors to Igbo- Nla, Gbagira, Lomiloju, Ala Elofosan and Obejedo using Mini grid power plant to provide 24 hours power supply.

He added that, the state also done the Stand Alone System, the first in the country to produce 1,750 stand alone system; solar system on Aboto, Igbobini, Gbagira and Ebute Pare which were 100 percent completion, except Igbobini which is 60 percent.

He tasked the authority to always put the round peg in a round hole, saying only engineers have the prerequisites training to deliver efficiently rather than engage quack to fix power.

Engr Arimoyo said it takes a good leader with political will to do the right thing, most especially in the power sector that has been compromised by people who are feeding fat on the challenges facing the sector. ” Awolowo was not an Engineer but engaged the service of competent hands.

Meanwhile, Engr Adebisi Akinola, a traditional monarch who delivered second lecture said decentralisation of power sector is long overdue, suggesting that power generation and distribution must be decentralised to enhance efficiency and electricity supply to many communities.

He noted that, to have a sustainable development in power sector, Nigeria must advance its technology, maintain and sustain it and also engage competent engineers, technicians, technologists and artisans to work together.

The Chairman of NSE, Akure branch, Engr Ezekiel Oloruntola thanked the guest speakers and participants, adding that talking about healthy environment; power, water and sanitation take centre stage.

He said Engineers will no doubt play vital roles when talking about sustainable development goals that the country is working towards it actualisation by 2030, saying without engineers, it cannot be achieved.

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