phase 1 to be commissioned in April
In a bold move to free Edo people and residents from the stranglehold of the inefficient Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and undo the endless cycle of darkness foisted on electricity consumers in the state, Governor Godwin Obaseki on Wednesday, visited the 55 Megawatts CCETC-Ossiomo Power plant as the facility prepares to commence operation.
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki (left); Director, CCETC Clean Energy/Ossiomo Power Plant, Dr. Uwa Igiehon (second left); and Plant Administrator, Di Xiaohui (second right), during the governor’s inspection of ongoing construction work at the CCETC Clean Energy/Ossiomo Power Plant site in Ologbo, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, Edo State, on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.
Addressing journalists after inspecting facilities and progress of work at the CCETC Clean Power/Ossiomo Power Plant, in Ologbo, near Benin City, Obaseki said the first phase of the project will be commissioned in April and would make more electricity available for distribution in the state.
He said the construction of transmission lines to deliver the power from the site to the city centre would soon commence, as the first set of equipment for the project would arrive from China in the first quarter of this year.
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According to him, “We believe that before the end of the first quarter of the year, the first 5MW would be delivered to light up government offices and streets within the Sapele Road corridor of Benin City.”
He explained that “to ease distribution of the power, a substation would be set up around Kings Square, which would power streets in the city.”
The governor added: “We are concluding transaction to light up 200 Kilometres of our streets across the city. When the plant is completed, it will free up some electricity for the state. We believe that if the megawatts produced increase, the distribution company will have more power to distribute to other cities in the state.
“The ordinary Edo people will benefit from this power arrangement because there is an arrangement to drop power in certain processing centres where artisans can move into and do their businesses with the assurance of steady power supply.”
Director, CCETC Clean Energy/Ossiomo Power Plant, Dr. Uwa Igiehon, said the power plant is a joint venture between a Chinese Company, CCETC Clean Energy and Ossiomo Power to build a 55Megawatts plant in the state.
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He said the power plant started in August 2018 and would be delivered in the next four to five months.
“We will be using natural gas from a 50-metre gas pipeline close to the site. The project will be in phases with the first phase of 5 megawatts to be delivered to the state government.”
The governor was also at the 1800-housing unit Emotan Gardens on Upper Sokponba Road, to see the extent of work at the estate.Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has said only the conduct of a referendum on self determination in the Southeast, South-South, and some parts of the North central regions can halt Nigeria’s slide into another ‘civil war’.
Kanu, who stated this in a statement on Wednesday made available to journalists by IPOB spokesman, Comrade Emma Powerful, took a swipe at the proponents of restructuring and true federalism.
He said restructuring of Nigeria had defied any sensible definition, adding that true federalism is unworkable in the country because one-third of the states in the federation as presently constituted have Sharia as state religion and code of justice, which denies non-adherents of that Islamic religion certain freedoms guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution.
The IPOB leader said: “We, the Indigenous People of Biafra have proposed and still proposing the only idea that would halt Nigeria’s spiral towards bloody implosion. Our prescription is clear: Conduct A Referendum On Self-Determination for Biafrans; and indeed any other organized and cohesive group that demands it. That is the only fair way; not “True Federalism” or “Restructuring”.
“To drive home our demand, IPOB will ensure that the entire land of Biafra is paralysed on whatever date they choose to hold the presidential elections. This position is irreversible unless our simple demand is met.
“While others are busy pontificating on newspaper pages or selling their soul to the highest bidder in Abuja, we remain on this long walk to a free Biafra, where black people in sub-Saharan Africa will for the first time since colonialism, live under guaranteed freedoms and rights unlike the primitive arrangement people are forced to live under in Nigeria. We won’t get there overnight.
“But in this 2019, we will make some of our most significant strides yet to accomplish our stated mission which is to restore Biafra. We must always be guided by the reasoning that underpins our belief that Nigeria as presently constituted in unworkable.
“By virtue of their orientation and heritage, the dominant ruling Arewa Northern Nigeria, with their feudal societal structure, is not designed to understand or practice democracy. This is one of the greatest mistakes early thinkers like Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe made. The social arrangement they have in Northern Nigeria makes it impossible for their leaders that are thrust upon the people in Nigeria to appreciate and respect democratic values such as respect for the rule of law, freedoms and liberty. These noble ideals of democracy are incompatible with Sharia.
“True Federalism” particularly is evidently unrealistic in a country where twelve states have already adopted Sharia as state religion and code of justice, which denies non-adherents of that religion certain freedoms guaranteed by the military-imposed Nigerian Constitution. Conversely, Restructuring has defied every sensible definition.
Come to think of it, was it not a federal arrangement or True Federation that Nigeria had at independence but which could not survive more than six years? What then is this new true Federalism or Restructuring that will suddenly become workable when it had failed in the past and even led to a war of attrition?
I have nothing against those wishing to live under the Fulanised British colonial contraption called Nigeria as most Yoruba and Hausa people do.
“What we resent is the inability or the unreasonableness of the chattering class in Nigeria to come to terms the inescapable realization that no country with a myriad of divergent value systems can peacefully exist as a nation state. This is elementary political philosophy.
“Meaningful human development in Nigeria is impossible because the Fulani feudal mindset, Yoruba monarchical system and the republican disposition of Biafrans are forever irreconcilable value systems that will ensure the unworkability of Nigeria as a country.”