32,000 Units Of Prepaid Metter Distributed and Installed by Akwa Ibom State Govt
Akwa Ibom State Government has distributed and installed thousands of units of prepaid meters to houses within the state, numbering 32,000. This was the position of the Commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development, Dr. John J. Etim on Friday, January 14, 2022.
The Commissioner who addressed the press noted that the meters were distributed and installed in homes and businesses, commencing from the metropolitan areas of the state.
According to the Commissioner, 12,000 units of the meters have been installed and distributed so far, while 20,000 are currently being distributed and installed.
“The Governor Udom Emmanuel-led administration has achieved applaudable success in providing prepaid meters for installation in key residential clusters. Under the pilot scheme, the Akwa Ibom State Government had earmarked 32,000 units of prepaid meters for installation in homes and businesses, commencing in the metropolitan area of the state. So far, 12,000 units have been distributed and installed”, he said.
He informed that Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration has also birthed the 33KV injection substation at Nwaniba, which he noted has helped step up power supply in the State, as well as the 132 X 33KV, 2×60 MVA transmission substation at Ekim; upgrade and optimization of the 132 X 33KV, 3×60 MVA transmission station at Afaha Ube Itam in Uyo metropolis, 33/11KV, 2×15 MVA injection substation at Edet Akpan Ave (aka 4 Lanes), Uyo and the replacement of damaged and unserviceable transformers, including other power equipment and accessories all over the state.
“In recognition of the huge investments in this sector, the state was nicknamed ‘The Power State’ by both the Vice President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo and the then Minister of Power, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN. They both unreservedly commended the Governor for his foresight in investing so massively in the power sector”, the Commissioner recalled.
Commending the Governor’s ‘Power for All’ initiative, Dr. John Etim applauded the State Chief Executive for not “resting on his laurels” but staying true to his goal of connecting villages in the State to the national grid, providing metering solutions and network optimization.
He mentioned that at the last count, his Ministry has attained 94 % in the connection of the 2,274 gazetted villages to the national grid, while expressing optimism that the remaining communities yet to be connected will soon be connected, so they can join the league of communities with public power.
“To complement this, we tapped into the World Bank/REA Nigeria Electrification Program and investment in renewable energy, and over 25 communities have been earmarked across the state for solar powered mini-grid. Work has already started in Ini local government to build a mini grid that will supply solar powered electricity to the communities there”, he said.
He again commended the State Government for approving the release and installation of more than 470 Distribution Transformers over the 31 Local Government Areas of the State; construction of over 100km of both 33KV HT networks and 11KV HT networks all over the State; completion of the installations of hundreds of Feeder Pillars, and rehabilitation of over 300 distribution transformer substations.
Describing his Ministry’s achievements so far as milestones orchestrated by Governor Emmanuel, Dr. Etim expressed that Akwa Ibom State has become a model to other states in view of its constant power supply.
“Our investments in the key power infrastructures like the Ekim Power Station, the Nwaniba Substation and our master stroke feat in the running of dedicated lines to service key institutions like the Ibom Icon Hotel, The Victor Attah International Airport, Ibom Specialist Hospital, and the Dakkada Luxury Estate among others, have become a model to many states and seriously reduced the frustration these institutions experienced as a result of epileptic power supply”, he stressed.
As a way of linking rural communities to the national grid, the Commissioner announced plans by the State Government to deploy solar energy to remote communities to help them benefit from the National Solar Programme.
He however pleaded with citizens to protect the power infrastructure in their vicinity and pay their consumption charges and meter subscription, to avoid estimated billing.
He also assured of Government’s continuous engagement with the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) to ensure more power stability in the State.
“The government has and will continue to engage PHEDC in a bid to push for more power off take and distribution to our people. We are hopeful that in the days ahead, PHEDC will see eye to eye with our state government on the need to increase supply of power to our citizens, while providing good customer service. Be rest assured that while the AKSG is engaging the distribution company PHEDC, we’re also exploring other means of ensuring that our state can have uninterrupted power”.
“We will continue to advocate for more meters to be made available for both private and commercial customers. These undoubtedly will inch us closer to our target of making affordable power available for all citizens of Akwa Ibom State”, Dr. John Etim said.
By Priscilla Christopher