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Using Power To Stimulate Business Activities In Rural Communities

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The  Commissioning of a N150 Million 33KVA Substation In Lagos community, by minister of power, works and housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola is seen in the power sector as a testimony of dedicated efforts to energizing business writes CHIKA IZUORA.

 

It was a double celebration for the traditional ruler of Ilashe community, which is naturally cut off by the Atlantic ocean. Ilashe is typically an agrarian community, dislocated by absence of critical infrastructure. The inhabitants fish and farm as means of livelihood but the community is somehow rich in tourism.

The community is not even connected to the wobbling national grid so electricity supply is totally lacking.

But inline with the present administrations desire to enhance economic activities across all strata of the society prompted the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, to consider creating opportunities especially for rural communities led to citing of a major power asset at Ilashe.

Traditional head of the area, His Majesty Abdul Fatai Adisa, could not hold his joy during his remarks when he said, at the inauguration of the 1+30MVA/132/33KV Transmission Substation in the community, by power minister Babatunde Fashola, at the weekend.

“I am particularly happy today because today is my birthday. I was initially not ready to support the TCN when they requested for a piece of land because I thought it will take another ten year to actualise this project, but when I asked who is the power minister and they say Fashola because I trust him as former governor of the state I gave them three acres of land. Today I am sent the benefit of that donation. So I thank you and the governorship candidate Sanwo-Olu who is here also.

I will implore the incoming administration to do more by visiting the riverine areas of the state and look at the level of infrastructure deficit and help the”, he said.

LEADERSHIP, reports that the TCN, had initiated the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Program, TREP, as a strategy to rehabilitate and expand the nation’s transmission infrastructure to stabilize the grid for optimum performance,min line with international nest practice.

Under the program, TCN, targets to expand the country’s transmission capacity to 20,000 Megawatts by 2021.

Under the TREP, all uninstalled transformers all over the country will be installed through in-house capacity.

Using in-house capacity according to the chief executive of the TCN Usman Mohammed is cost effective.

Mohammed said the Ilashe facility was constructed at the cost of N150 million because the project was not contracted out.

According to him, the TREP, would help to essentially reduce system instability through the procurement of functional facilities, ensuring frequency control, provision of adequate spinning reserve, installation of relays and ensuring its effective coordination.

The initiative he added will establish functional organizational structure and provide adequate manpower requisite skills and adequate motivation to drive the reform and manage the assets under their care.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) with the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing had in 2017 decided to site a 132/33KVA substation at Ilashe, to boost small and medium enterprises in the riverine community.

The project, according to the Minister, was deemed important because of the socio-economic benefit it portends for the growth  of the communit.

Fashola, disclosed that the location of Ilashe and its sister communities between the lagoon and the ocean makes it a prime project for expansion/growth of tourism in Lagos and indeed Nigeria, provided there is adequate power supply.

He noted that a power project of such nature will attract other local and foreign investment to the riverine communities thereby significantly improving the lives of rural dwellers.

LEADERSHIP reports that in December 2017, the General Manager of TCN; Lagos region, Engr. Godfrey Nwokoye, had inaugurated a taskforce of house engineers headed by Engr  LI Adeola to handle the project.

The location of Ilashe makes the asset a unique one, as logistics associated with marine transportation of heavy equipment, materials, building materials, etc, providing to be totally different from inland based projects.

This increased the cost of implications of the project as it affected the project delivery date.

However the project is the first offshore based project, wholly executed by TCN engineers in the country.

The project is estimated to deliver about 24 Megawatts of power to Ilashe, Ibese, Ikare, Igbologun and Ilado Odo, and there are spaces for expansion in the future to further attract huge investments into the community and open it up for accelerated growth.

In the area of employment, during the course of the project execution over two hundred direct and indirect labour was created. The indigene were highly favoured in the employment in order to create a sense of belonging, and in anticipation of its conclusion some indigenes have also been in permanent appointment.

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