…Akwa Ibom, Abia, Cross River communities listed as beneficiaries
…As Federal Ministry of Power, contractors, communities laud Ita Enang
It was celebrations galore on Thursday as the delegation from the Federal Ministry of Power and contractors from JAMEC West Africa were received at Ididep, Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, to commence constructing a power substation.
Work on the project which is attracted to the area by the immediate past Senior Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Solomon Enang, is set to begin today, Friday.
Receiving the delegation, chiefs, elders, women and youths of Ididep clan pledged support and cooperation for the team.
Senator Ita Enang in his speech said the project is in fulfillment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s avowed commitment to further establish federal government’s presence in Akwa Ibom State as well the administration’s quest of boosting power generation throughout the country: “His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari made a promise to the people of the state that he will improve power generation in Akwa Ibom State. The substation that we have in Itu is 15 MVA, and that is is what is supplying Uyo, Itu and Ibiono Ibom, and that is why they are rationing light. That is why sometimes they have to take light in Uyo and other areas in order to serve other areas like Itu, Ibiono Ibom and Ini. I requested that (substation) from him (President) as Adviser to him on National Assembly Matters, and when I finished that and got appointed as Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs, we followed it up through the award process and it was awarded,” he further revealed.
Disclosing that the total contract sum of the project is 6.5bn Naira, the former National Assembly member Ita Enang also stated that that the substation will power Ibiono Ibom, Itu, Ikono and Ini Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State, Obio Usiere and Odukpani in Cross River State; Arochukwu and few other communities in Abia State.
He assured the contractors of utmost cooperation of Ibiono Ibom people.
Engr Philip Okpanefe, Director of Transmission in the Federal Ministry of Power, also said the project is in sync with federal government’s avowed commitment to improving power generation in the country.
He said the ministry’s delegation previously came to Ibiono Ibom to carry out a survey, went back to make proper documentation before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the project, adding that 30 percent of the contract sum has been released for immediate commencement of work.
Okpanefe promised that the federal government will release another tranche of funding for the project upon the completion of the first phase later in 2022. He also lauded Senator Ita Enang for spearheading the actualization of the facility.
Speaking on behalf of the contracting firm, JAMEC West Africa, Engr Afolabi Ademola confirmed that the company has been financially mobilized to site, assuring that the project would be completed within 18 months. “The substation will have a ripple effect on Akwa Ibom State, Cross River State and Abia State. We have our team, and we are starting tomorrow (Friday) to ensure that everything is done,” he added.
Chapter Chairman of APC in Ibiono Ibom LGA, Hon. Umoh Ekop appreciated President Buhari for granting Senator Ita Enang’s request for establishment of the facility, and also thanked the president for allowing projects like roads, drainages, Police College, ongoing Calabar-Itu Road to be done in Ibiono Ibom. “As a party, we assure that we will do all we can to protect the substation project. We will cooperate with you,” he pledged.
Clan Head of Ididep, Chief Nwanakuo Udo Nkenta acknowledged that Senator Ita Enang has always attracted developmental projects to the area. He promised to appeal to ididep people to be law abiding. Village head of Ikot Akpan Nyah Ididep, Chief Bassey Edet Umoren; Village council chairman, Chief Ndarake Umo; Youth leader, Comrade Ofonime Amos; representative of the women, Madam Arit Okokon all spoke in support of the project.