by ETTAH EMMANUEL O.
The Hon. Minister of State, Power,Goddy Jedy Agba, OFR, has said, the present administration has provided an improved Urban and Rural supply of electricity across the states of the country, in response to the policy trust of creating employment through improved supply of electricity for artisans like welders, mechanics, factories, industries, small and medium scale enterprises and our institutions of higher learning. noted that less than two years in office as Minister of State, Power, the Nation has recorded successes in the power sector through major interventions. Some of the benefiting states so far, include Lagos, Oyo, Osun. Edo , Ebonyi, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Niger and satellite towns within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Greater attention is focused in the rural areas where advantage is taken of the emerging alternative energy sources in Nigeria; particularly the solar mini- grid systems.
In a Press Statement by the Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Communications Strategy, Mr. Ofem Uket, the Hon. Minister declared that in Cross River State, there was no electricity in Bekwara Local Government for six years, and today the area is enjoying steady supply of electricity. Also, the Honourable Minister has ensured steady power supply in Calabar. In the further northern Cross River State, areas far away from the National Grid are being provided with the solar mini Grid electricity. Currently, a solar mini Grid project is ongoing at the Bottom Hill of the Obudu Ranching Resorts with the intention of providing electricity to the people of Bottom Hill, Agbakoko, Belinge, and Amana. These are places linking up the great tourists attractions in the Obudu Ranching Resorts. The Minister concluded arrangements with the Japanese Consortium, JAICA, for the electrification of the Utanga and the Ranch. The Japanese have already dropped the relevant work materials but they have been unable to come because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
As a result of the improved electricity the Honourable Minister ensured that the bore hole projects in Ukeme, Yache, and Gabu were completed. Similarly,the bore hole in Utugwang and water supply in Ukwel, Obudu, all in Cross River state are some of the numerous projects occasioned by the improved electricity, meant to enhance better living condition of the people, he added.
The Honourable Minister has noted that he is not interested in giving handouts of bags of rice, oil, wrappers etc. Our focus is to create an environment that will be economically viable and sustaining for our people. We should stop the politics of bitterness and rather come up with creative thoughts to assist leadership.
We must always bare in mind that Ministerial appointments are given National responsibilities, thus it is quite erroneous to expect a Minister to completely focus on his/ her State of origin.
It’s on this thrust that the Honourable Minister of State Power, pointed out that within the circumstances around his appointment, particularly the COVID-19, which informed a long lockdown, people should appreciate the strives he has taken nationwide and in Cross River State in particular. The Honourable Minister has promised to adhere to issues of National interest as demanded by his ministerial responsibilities and will not be hesitant to continue in that manner until his last day in office; having sworn to the oath to give in all his best for the people of this country.
The statement further disclosed that the strategy document appointing the Minister of State, Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, OFR, into office signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), apportioned specific roles, responsibilities and duties to his office, directing him to supervise under his office, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA),the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) and the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), including Man power and Capacity building of the Ministry of Power.
Again, every Minister so appointed, represents a State and responsibilities assigned to each of them; thus,the nomenclature of junior or senior Minister is a misnomer which confuses the Ministerial portfolios in the strategy document of the Presidency, which confers on any Federal Minister the power and privileges to perform within the areas of jurisdiction, without recourse to any form of subordination outside of the Presidency.
The statement argued that, Goddy Jedy-Agba, OFR, is committed to ensuring that the supply of electricity in rural communities and Urban centers is regularized to boost economic growth and production capacity of manufacturing industries, small and medium scale enterprises, to determine a corresponding growth in the Gross Domestic Product GDP.
However, the Power Sector Reforms of the Federal Government as encapsulated and currently implemented is aggressively addressing the challenges of instability in the supply of electricity, with assurance that quarter 2 of 2021 will have in history the highest power development change in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.
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