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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

We Now Enjoy Over 23-Hour Power Supply Daily — Awka Residents Testify, Power Commissioner Gives Credit to Soludo


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

In what could be best described as grateful testimonies, residents of Awka, the capital city of Anambra State, have attested and commended the state government for what they termed stable power supply they have begun to enjoy in the state, especially since the month of June and the preceding months.

The residents showered the commendations and testimonies when this reporter, Izunna Okafor, toured some parts of the capital territory to assess the views of the people (including traders and workshop owners) on the current status and stability of electricity supply in capital city in recent time.

In their separate remarks, some of the residents interviewed, including Mr. Emmanuel Nwokoro, who lives at the Paradise Hostel in Okpuno; Angela Onyekachi, who lives around the Iyiagu Estate, and Dr. Iheanyi Mbah from Nodu, said they have recently begun to enjoy constant electricity like never before.

The residents, who attested that they now enjoy about 23-hour power supply on the average on daily basis, said they never believed that such constant power supply could be possible in Nigeria, as such was only associated with developed countries of the world.

While describing the recent improvement as a testament that Awka is gradually gaining the befitting status of a capital city, as other parts of the State also develop at commendable paces; the residents showered praises on Anambra State Government, while also calling for more of such sustained developmental efforts.

On their own parts, a laundry shop owner at Ifite Awka, Mr. Benjamin Okoli; a printing press and business center owner at Emma Nnaemeka Street (De Union Publishers), Mr. Silas Abosi; a hotel operator, Chief Augustus Ndubuisi; and a technician at Ezenwa Plaza, Eke Awka Market, all said the improved power supply had enhanced the growth of their businesses through the reduction of their daily operational costs and the increment of their revenues, among other benefits.

While underscoring the importance of stable power supply as one of the major of drivers of economic development in every society, the trio, who recalled their past ugly experiences as electricity users, said they now feel happy paying their electricity bills every month

They also commended the management of the Enugu State Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) and the Anambra State Government for the improvements, while also calling for more of such transformation in other sectors of the State.

When contacted by this reporter, Izunna Okafor, the Anambra State Commissioner for Power and Water Resources, Engr. Julius Chukwuemeka who attributed the improvement to the visionary leadership of Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo and the collaboration with the EEDC, said the improvement the residents are seeing now were just a snippet of what the Governor envisions and the plans he has in stock for them.

He said: “What they are seeing now in terms of electricity is just the beginning. It is just the beginning, looking at what the Governor has in stock for Ndị Anambra. We have a target to see if, in the shorted possible time, Awka, Nnewi, Onitsha, and their environs will start having 24/7 power supply.

“So, we are working tirelessly to see that this dream is achieved. With time, other parts of the State that have not started enjoying constant power supply will also begin to do so, courtesy of the visionary leadership of Mr. Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo. But we are not doing this alone. We are doing it in collaboration with the EEDC.”

The Commissioner further revealed that some people had earlier advised him to work towards achieving an independent electricity generation for Anambra State. This, he said, would take a gradual and systematic process, as the State currently does not have the facilities to generate, transmit and distribute its own electricity independently; hence the need for the collaboration and signing of the MOU with the EEDC, the results of which the people are enjoying today in the State.

He added that all those transformations were in pursuance of the Governor’s vision to make the Anambra a liveable and prosperous homeland.

While highlighting other mult-sectoral developments that have taken place in Anambra State in recent time, Commissioner Chukwuemeka also re-echoed the ‘Akụ Ruo Ụlọ’ clarion call by the Governor, urging Ndị Anambra who live in different parts of the country and beyond, to come and invest in their homestate, Anambra, which, he said, had remained a first-choice destination for investors.

This reporter, Izunna Okafor, recalls that Anambra State Government, in May 2023, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to guarantee steady power supply in the state.

Governor Soludo and Commissioner Chukwuemeka signed on behalf of the state government, while the Chief Executive Officer of the EEDC, Emeka Offor, signed on behalf of his organisation.

Speaking shortly after signing the MoU at the event that held at Government House, Governor Soludo said the aim was to ensure that power supply in the state is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

His words: “Today, I signed a memorandum of understanding with Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to ensure that power supply in the state is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The signing of the MoU took place today at the Anambra State Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Awka. Today is a historic day for the people and the state.

“I acknowledge that this signing will completely translate into positive changes, which is critical for the journey towards a liveable and prosperous homeland that cannot be achieved without a continuous supply of power.

“Long before I was sworn in as Governor of Anambra, I recognized the importance of power and deeply considered how it could be achieved in the shortest period for at least three to four major cities in the state What we did today was to consummate that marriage.

“The courtship began over a year ago, and I am overjoyed that the marriage has finally been consummated today. We must all work together to ensure that we have a stable and continuous power supply in Anambra State.

“Anambra is a state of which more than 60 percent of its non-land assets are domiciled outside of the state. If at least 25 percent of the proceeds are returned to Anambra, the state can become what we envision it to be.

“My message to the rest of Anambra’s billionaires and millionaires is that wealth and net worth alone are insufficient. The question is, how much of your wealth and assets are domiciled in the state for Anambra to be the choice of destination to live, work, invest, relax and enjoy.”

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