The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, has attributed the delay in the completion of the multi-billion naira 330 KVA substation project in Akure, Ondo State, to the the activities of vandals and rights-of-way issues.
The Minister who stated this inspection tour of the facility in Akure said land owners were not wiling to release their land for transmission lines to pass through saying this was responsible for the foot dragging of the project.
Aliyu who was represented by the Executive Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engr. Victor Adewumi, lamented over the activities of vandals but assured that the transmission substation will soon be energised, revealing that the project had achieved 98 percent completion.
According to him, the transmission substation, which is expected to be completed and commissioned by the end of 2022, will greatly improve the electricity situation in both Ondo and Ekiti States, according to the TCN boss.
He said, “If you look around now, you will see that this substation has been ready for the past years but we could not commission it because the transmission line that suppose to power the substation from Osogbo via Akure to Benin is not yet ready.
“We have been having a lot of issues on the corridor of that line because nobody wants to give out land and even where they allowed you to use their land for the transmission line to pass through they demand ridiculous amount of money. At times the money are asking is even five times of the entire project.
“But the Honourable Minister in his wisdom had a meeting with the Governors’ forum and told them how he wants them to assist him. So if the governors are ready to assist us the problem of right of ways issue will become things of pass.”
He said further that “We even had worrisome spate of vandalism here in Ondo state. This particular project, there was a time vandals brought welding machine.
“They destroyed about three towers that were already erected but the NSCDC were able to arrest them and as I’m talking to you they are in the police custody awaiting prosecution.
“This particular substation is one of the priority project that we want to commission before end of this year. So we are here basically to access the situation and give back the situation we met the substation to the Honourable Minister when we get back to Abuja.”
He said most of the issues that were affecting the project were solved following the partnership of TCN with the Ondo, Ekiti and Edo State governments.
“They have been assisting us, I can say now that our relationship is very cordial. The present Commissioner for Energy in Ondo State was able to assist us in solving the most critical part of the right of way in Ilara-Mokin area. As I speak, the contractor in charge had been mobilised backed to site.
“The capacity of the substation is 2×50 on the 330kVA size and 2×60 on the 33kVA size. So if this station is delivered, it has the capacity of 96 megawatts to deliver to the good people of Ondo and Ekiti States.
“If this station is energised, it is going to serve Akure directly and have another leg to power Ekiti State so the problem of Ekiti in the areas of electricity will be address and that of Akure here.”