Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Umo Eno, has highlighted the importance of power as key driver of the nation’s economy and stressed the need for the deregulation of the sector towards effective participation of sub nationals in energy management and distribution.
He, therefore, expressed the readiness of his administration to partner with the federal government for enhanced power sector infrastructure and improved supply in the state and the country in general.
Governor Eno made this known during interaction with a joint delegation of the Senate Committee on Power and members of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on a courtesy call to him at Government House, Uyo, the state capital at the weekend.
He said the state government was willing and ready to partner the federal government to ensure off-take of power generated from the Ibom Power Plant (IPP), to benefit the citizenry and the nation, urging that urgent measures be put in place to improve power supply in the country.
He said: “I believe we can do better with our power system, but a lot has to do with the federal government. If the federal government gives us the leeway to do it and with a promise to refund, then we can begin to think of it. But we’ll like to work together because we need to get those permission to be able to link these things up, so that we won’t need to get into too much talk after the process. At the end of the day, it will be to the benefit of our people and then to Nigeria.
“Power is something that is dear to our heart; so, the work that you are doing needs to be encouraged because without power, we cannot really do anything and the economy cannot move forward.”
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said they were in the state for a three-day retreat and expressed satisfaction with the choice of Uyo for the retreat, as against earlier plans for locations outside the country.
He recalled that previous retreats of the body were held at Ghana, Morocco and other locations outside the country, noting that after the last Senate retreat in Akwa Ibom, they realised that the state has quality facilities sufficient for their engagement.