Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has called on distribution companies in the country to provide meters for all homes to avoid rifts between their staff members and their consumers.
Akeredolu said this on Monday at the inauguration of 60MVA transformer at the 132/33kV transmission substation in Akure.
He said that if every customer of the various discos was provided a meter each, they would consume their electricity the way they want it and would reduce grievances against the discos.
The governor noted that the substation was a significant step in improving power supplies to different parts of Ondo and Ekiti States.
According to him, power is a critical requirement in economic growth; its impact on education, health and other facets of life cannot be quantified.
He decried the challenges being faced from erratic electricity supply by some communities in Ondo South and Ondo North Senatorial Districts which he said had been cut-off from the national grid for several years.
He said: “Our people are currently in running battles with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (Benin Disco) following their disconnection over what had been termed pre and post-privatisation debts.
“In fact, there are communities that have not had access to electricity for close to 14 years while some have never experienced electricity at all.
“The people are daily losing faith in the ability of government to provide reliable and uninterrupted power for their use.”
Akeredolu said that works were progressing on some of the critical transmission projects.
He said that the state desired that more funds be injected to speed up activities, particularly, in Ondo South and North Senatorial Districts.
He said: “The state government has also approved that a number of mini-grid power plants be built through investor-financed- business model in some of the most deprived communities in Ondo State as part of Phase one of our electricity improvement scheme.
“Most of them are also located in the South Senatorial District.
“We have also come up with a unique cluster off-take unit Policy framework for these mini-grid projects that empowers the communities to be marginal part-owners of those power plants.”
He assured the people that work would commence in the area by August end, saying that all associated problems would be rectified.
The governor promised that markets in the state would witness a full-scale deployment of hybrid solar power technology that would permanently resolve the challenges witnessed by their operators.
He appreciated the APC-led Federal Government’s policy pronouncements that were opening up the power sector.
He said that states, local government authorities and the private sector should be drafted to play important roles at this crucial time.
Earlier, Usman Mohammed, the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria, said that the nation’s power status would attain 200,000 megawatts by 2021.
Mohammed said that the step was in line with the policy of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to expand and stabilise electricity in the country.
He explained that the Federal Government was aimed at providing operational flexibility and reliability in delivering bulk power to distribution companies, international customers as well as other customers connected directly to the national grid.
According to him, the installation of the 132/33KV will raise the capacity of the substation from 120 megawatts to 180 megawatts, thereby increasing power supply in Akure and its environs.