The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Monday assured that the 132/33KV Sub Station designed to provide electricity for over 2, 000 riverside communities in Ondo State would be completed and commissioned soon.
The commission’s Acting Managing Director, Dr Akwagaga Enyia, gave the assurance during an inspection of the project in Okitipupa.
Accompanied by the state deputy governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, during the tour, the Managing Director expressed her delight over the construction of “a huge power station” in the oil-producing area of the state after the project had been abandoned for over 10 months as a result of non payment of the outstanding Interim Payment Certificate (IPC).
Following the payment of the IPC last week work commenced on the N6 billion project which is now targeted for completion in the first quarter of 2020 based on the agreement between the commission and the contractors.
Enyia recounted: “I was told that for some time, there was a delay in the progress of work on site. When I came on board as the Acting MD, I made sure that funds were released to put the project on fast-track. That is why work is going on at a much faster pace now.”
Noting that the project remains one of the key projects with many months of outstanding Interim Payment Certificates, the Managing Director promised that as more funds were made available to the commission, payment would be sustained to guarantee early completion of the project.
In his remarks, the state deputy governor commended the commission for re-activating the project in spite of some challenges and expressed joy that over 2,000 oil-producing communities in five local government areas of the state would benefit from the sub-station.
Ajayi enthused: “We must look at how we can strengthen the NDDC to enable it to deliver on its mandate. We need to encourage and support NDDC to do more for the people of the region. For us, this is the most important project NDDC is executing in the state.
“If you deliver this project, you will have delivered the whole of Ondo South from the pains of lack of public power supply. All of us will be happy with you, and the economy of the area which had been crippled for many years, will begin to boom”, the deputy governor added.
He urged the NDDC and the Federal Government to ensure the timely completion of the project in view of its immense benefits to the people in the five local government areas.
Commenting, the Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services, Niger Delta Power Holding Co Ltd., Ifeoluwa Oyedele, said the inspection by NDDC was significant as it underscored the importance of collaboration among agencies of government.
He said that the NDDC sub-station would be fed from NDPHC power station in Omotosho which, he said, was now being grossly underutilised.
According to him, the power station has four turbines but with just only one being fired at the moment.
Speaking at the occasion, the Managing Director, Stedy Engineering Ltd, the contractors handling the project, Mr Benson Obayomi, explained that the scope of the contract included the evacuation of light from Omotosho with a step-down at Ireje through a 132KV double circuit line with two 30/40MVA transformers at Okitipupa.
Obayomi disclosed that all materials needed for the project were on-site at Okitipupa and that his company would do everything possible to make the completion date feasible.