January 21, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved the application from Ibom Utility company to operate an independent electricity distribution network licence.
The announcement was made on Monday, after the approval presentation ceremony by NERC.
The licence will enable Ibom Utility Company to distribute electricity in selected locations in Akwa Ibom state.
The Commission similarly approved the application for an amendment of the on-grid electricity generating licence to enable Ibom Power Company Ltd to embed into the distribution network of Ibom utility company limited.
THEWILL reports that Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, at several fora, lamented the absence of steady power supply to be caused by poor distribution despite heavy investment by the state government in power.
After barely eighteen months in office as governor, Emmanuel inaugurated a newly built 33/11KV, 2 X 15MVA injection sub-station in Uyo, the state capital.
Thereafter, the Governor built a similar 33/11KV, 2 X 15MVA substation to provide a dedicated grid power supply to the state-owned Victor Attah International Airport with a dedicated 33kv line from Ibom Tropicana.
In addition, when the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), energised 132/33KV electricity transformers in Calabar and Lagos, Governor Emmanuel collaborated with TCN to commission a 132/33KV, 1 x 60MVA transformer at Afaha Ube in Itu. This 60MVA transformer increased the state’s available power for distribution from 96megawatts to 144megawatts.
According to the Governor’s aide on power, Engr. Meyen Etukudo, the upgraded substation provides steady power to ten local government areas in the state including Uyo, Ikot Ekpene, Essien Udim, Obot Akara, Ini, Ikono, Ibiono Ibom, Itu, Etinan, Abak and Ukanafun.
TCN, the sole electricity transporter and link between generation companies and distribution companies in Nigeria, lauded the Governor for the partnership, which they said aligned with the incremental power policy of the Federal Government.
Also, Udom Emmanuel, again, collaborated with TCN and entered into an agreement to build a 132/33KV, 2 x 60MVA transmission substation at Ekim in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, twenty years after the last transmission substation was constructed in the state.
The 132/33KV, 1 x 60MVA Ekim substation was commissioned as part of activities to celebrate the state’s 32nd anniversary, by the Vice President of the Federal Republic, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
The substation, which receives power from the state-owned Ibom Power Plant, has 33kv dedicated lines to Onna industrial hub, the location of Jubilee Syringe factory, King Flour Mills, Metering Solutions Manufacturing Services and the plywood industry.
It also provides a steady power supply to Akwa Ibom State University and five local government areas including Onna, Mkpat Enin, Ikot Abasi, Eastern Obolo and Orukanam.
In addition, the Akwa Ibom State Government has secured a 30MVA transformer for the proposed construction of the Ikot Abasi substation.
In spite of these investments in the last 7 years, some residents of the state decried the total blackout or epileptic power supply in their areas.
The outage was due to the privatisation of power distribution assets and the Federal Government’s total control of power transmission, as the Akwa Ibom State government did not have a say on the assets’ utilisation.
With the recent approval, Akwa Ibom is set to independently manage its power resources and distribute them effectively.
The Akwa 𝗜bom State Government delegation to the event was led by the Secretary to State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, Commissioner For Power, Hon John James and SSA to the Governor on Power, and The Managing Director of Ibom Power, Engr Mayen Etukudo.