ANAMBRA State Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on Monday. This marks another bold move to make the state the first port of call for local and foreign investors. It will also markup Anambra’s industrialisation policy.
WHILE Gov. Willie Obiano signed on behalf of the state government, TCN Company Secretary, Fatuma Muhtar, signed for the national electricity provider.
Under the deal, TCN will design, develop and construct about eight electricity sub or flow stations in designated towns across the three senatorial districts of the state.
SPEAKING during the ceremony in the state’s Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Awka, Gov. Obiano expressed optimism that the proposed facilities will bring improved power supply both for sufficient industrial use and recalibrated social life in Anambra State, particularly in areas presently grappling with electricity supply deficit.
WHILE contracts for the projects, in two phases are to be executed directly through financing partnership between Anambra State and TCN, to ensure that the deal is seamlessly delivered, without involvement of middlemen, the memorandum provides for a completion period of 18 months.
UNDER the first phase, two 60 MVA 132/33 KV substations will be constructed at Oba and Ojoto towns in Idemmili South Local Government Area, with another two 60 MVA substation built at Nnewi in Nnewi North L.G.A and yet another two 60 MVA, 132/33 KV substations sited at Onitsha, as well as a two by 60 MVA 132/33KV substation at Ifitedunu in Dunukofia L.G.A.
IN THE second phase of the bi-partite agreement, similar projects for construction of two 100 and 50 MVA 330/132/33KV substation at Amansea-Awka within Awka Capital Territory, another two 60 MVA 132/33KV substation at Aguleri in Anambra East L.G.A. as well as two 60 MVA 132/33KV substation at Ekwulobia-Umuchu in Aguata L.G.A will be executed.
ACCORDING to General Manager, Engineering in TCN, Geoffrey Nwokoye, contracts for projects under the first phase have already been awarded, adding that their collaboration with the state government will ensure smooth and prompt delivery of the projects.
WHILE commending government for evenly spreading the projects, we laud the initiative as not only a timely step in the right direction but a very comprehensive investment in power sector by a state in Nigeria. The event underscores an aggressive strategy by Gov. Obiano to ensure that Anambra State will not lag behind in Nigeria’s expectation of attaining 25,000 megawatts in 2025.
WE APPRAISE the initiative as a child of strategic smart thinking, showing a state not willing to sit on the fence or loiter around in bandaging excuses, waiting for national electricity manna. With many firms either forced to shut down in many parts of Nigeria or relocate to other West African countries, because of regular energy shortfall, Anambra’s proactive engagement of the development shows that she has taken the bull by the horn.
This is therefore another bold stride to fix her power sector and compliment her elite rating in the national ease-of-doing business index. This is a challenge to other states still waiting for national manna in the power sector. States should note how direly SMEs need public power supply and contribute their quota to solving the national challenge.
WHAT the last Monday shows is that Anambra State Government is abreast with the need to upgrade electricity sub-transmission and distribution in the state to redirect or meet energy consumption with commensurate supply.
OUR excitement is hinged on our firm belief that the initiative will go a long way in fixing the critical power sector and quickly tweak other sectors of Anambra economy.
THE importance of electricity to economic development cannot be over-emphasised. This is why we also advise the state government to explore other sources of power in the areas of hydro, solar, wind and coal electricity generation with more emphasis placed on renewable energy.
IF THE climate becomes attractive for more returns on investment, it will take no time before new private investors begin to pitch tent in the state.
However, we will be naive to ignore recurring dynamics that had previously crippled similar lofty goals both in Anambra State and elsewhere.
THIS is why we call on TCN to ensure that the projects are not only executed but duly executed, while wooing host communities to disregard extortive tendencies by giving access and right of way to both men and materials belonging to construction companies handling the projects.