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Monday, 13 January 2014

BAYELSA STATE GOVT FLAYS MEDIA REPORT ON GHOST PROJECT ...VOWS TO LEGITIMATELY DEMAND FOR MORE POWER STATIONS TO BOOST SUPPLY


BAYELSA STATE GOVT FLAYS MEDIA REPORT ON GHOST PROJECT
...VOWS TO LEGITIMATELY DEMAND FOR MORE POWER
STATIONS TO BOOST SUPPLY

09/01/2014
The Bayelsa State Government says no amount of blackmail from any section of the
country and the press will stop it from demanding a fair share of additional
transmission stations to enhance electricity supply in the State.
This
position was made known in a joint press statement issued by the State
Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Francis Ikio and Special Adviser to the Governor
on Power, Engineer Olice Kemenanabo in Yenagoa.
Apparently
reacting to reports in some sections of the media, titled “Investigation:
Jonathan Seeks N1.8billion to Fund Ghost Project”, the duo flayed the
publication as a mockery of journalism aimed at embarrassing President Goodluck
Jonathan and abusing the collective sensibilities of the entire people of
Bayelsa State.
“The
publication is to say the least insulting and aimed at embarrassing the
President in furtherance of the smear campaign orchestrated by a group of
persons.
“Irrespective
of the President coming from Bayelsa State, we are not fools in Bayelsa not to
appreciate what we need and legitimately demand for it from the relevant
Federal Government agencies to address our inadequacies especially as it
affects the electricity infrastructure.  The power needs of Bayelsa
State, according to our last comprehensive
load study, indicates far above 250MW, they stressed.
According
to the statement, the funds in question are not meant for any phantom project
but actually targeted at upgrading the existing 40MVA at Gbarantoru in Yenagoa
Local Government Area to connect the entire State.
It
noted, “Bayelsa State as you all know was created on the 1st of
October 1996 and was depending on 2 x 20MW Gas Turbines in Kolo Creek which
capacity was exceeded as far back as 2004 due to rapid load growth in the State
capital alone.
In
2006, when the national grid eventually came, we felt a temporary relief but in
less than no time, the station could serve only parts of Yenagoa due to the
capacity, which was not more than what we were generating from the
power station”.
The
statement further pointed out that “the only 40MVA Transmission station is
grossly inadequate and is under serious stress arising from overload even as
the supply is limited to the State capital and few communities.
Indeed the station (Gbarantoru Transmission
Station) is at the brink of collapse and if urgent steps are not taken to
upgrade it, there is imminent total outage in the state.
“Therefore,
if the Federal Ministry of Power in their wisdom is proposing the upgrade of
the existing station to 90MVA, and a section of the media interprets it as Mr.
President seeking N1.8billion to fund ghost projects in his home State, is
unfortunate”.
Dismissing
as untrue, the claims by the media outfit that officials of the Federal
Ministry of Power, who spoke to it on anonymity  saying “that there is
no official documentation for the project”, the Special
Adviser to the Bayelsa State Governor on power, Mr. Kemenanabo insisted that,
the process leading to the approval of the project was well documented.
Brandishing
a letter dated 22nd April, 2013 titled “Bayelsa State Power
Situation” and addressed to the then permanent secretary of the federal
ministry of power, Mr Kemenanabo maintained that the development was a product
of effective collaboration between the former and the Bayelsa State Government.
His
words, “That (claim) is not true. On the 22nd of April, 2013 before
the present Permanent Secretary came in, there was a permanent secretary by
name Mrs Dere Awosika to whom we sent technical presentation explaining the
exact situation in the power system in Bayelsa State as it affects the only
transmission station provided by the Federal Government since 2006.
“In
that meeting, we agreed jointly that a technical committee comprising
stakeholders from Bayelsa State that was represented by the commissioner for
energy, me and the Director of power in the Bayelsa State Ministry of Energy.
Then, on the Federal Government’s side, we had a Director from the Rural
Electrification Agency, representatives of the Niger Delta Power Holding
Company, representatives of Transmission Company of Nigeria and those from
Federal Ministry of Power,” he said.

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