Delta State Government says it would enact a law to enable it generate, transmit and distribute power as part of efforts to intervene in critical energy sectors in the state.
Commissioner for Energy in the state, Jonathan Ukodhiko disclosed this while speaking to journalists on Wednesday in Asaba.
He said with the privatisation of the power sector in Nigeria, the responsibility to generate, transmit and distribute power in the country is now the responsibility of private investors.
Ukodhiko however said the state government was intervening in critical areas because of the huge shortfall in electricity supply in the country.
He said the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration was poised to make life meaningful for the people hence the intervention in critical energy sectors.
“As you know, the power sector has been privatised, and it is now a private business. The role the Delta State Government is playing right now is what is called ‘an interventionist role’ the government is intervening in some of its critical infrastructures with regards to the power supply.
“When I came in, and I saw that the government had already conceived the IPP idea, I concluded that the first thing we need to do is to enact a law that will empower the state to provide what is called ‘captive power’ to generate, transmit and distribute power.
“Without this law in place, we will be handicapped and retarded and we have to put that law in place in a way that we will not be in contradiction with the federal law.
“This will enable us to provide power for our people because we cannot keep on folding our hands that there are laws, because constitutionally we are empowered to make life meaningful for our people.
“When I came in saw that there was no law. The state government has not been able to make laws that will empower us to generate, distribute and transmit power that will comply with federal law, what I did after seeing what is on ground, I opened up a discussion with BEDC.
Because we are an investor in BEDC, i told them that there is a need for us to work collaboratively to see how we can make life meaningful for our people.
“We have different options and different approaches to this. Right now we have some stranded power that we are not using out of the 8.5megawatts that we have, we are only using a little above 4megawatts. We still have about 4megawatts that is stranded and not in use that I need to distribute and transmit to people to use.
“I have opened up a discussion with BEDC to see if I can feed it into their grid and give that power to our people, we will sell that power and have an agreement on how we can give that power to our people, and we pay a premium to them, like what is attainable all over the world,” he said.
Ukodhiko remarked that the law would enable government generate, transmit, and distribute power to the people without contravening any law.
“We have already drafted something, and we are trying to see how we can come up with a law that is useful and all-inclusive to make life meaningful for our people.
“So once we finish with that law, we will send it to the attorney general to work on and then to the Governor to present as an executive bill to the House of Assembly to pass into law.”