The Acting Managing Director. Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Prof Nelson Brambaifa, has pledged to commission a pilot power project that will restore electricity to Ubima and Isiokpo communities in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State before the end of this month.
Brambaifa who gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy visit to the Chairman, Supreme Council of Ikwerre Traditional Rulers, HRM Eze Blessing Wagor, in his palace, said he was shocked to learn that the Isiokpo Kingdom had been without public power supply for over two years.
The NDDC boss who also inspect the ongoing power projects embarked by the Commission in the area, described the situation as anomalous and absurd, stating that the situation needed to be corrected urgently, as part of its intervention in communities of the Niger Delta region.
He said NDDC was using the restoration project for Ubima and Isiokpo as a pilot scheme that would eventually cover all the other distressed areas in the region and appealed to the traditional rulers to ensure that the electricity infrastructure in their areas was protected from vandals.
“The Commission is determined to face challenges of development, to improve the lives of the people. We swung into action immediately to address these challenges, because the people of the Niger Delta region deserve better.
“The electricity project, which is ongoing in the community is almost completed, and will be commissioned in the next few two weeks.”
The NDDC Acting boss also explained that the communities alerted the Commission on the deplorable power situation in the area, adding that for two and half years, the Ikwerre people lived without electricity.
“I am happy to announce that work has started in earnest in Ubima and Isiokpo. In fact, the contractor has assured us that the electrification project will be completed before the end of this month.”
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Income Electrix Limited, Mr. Matthew Edevbie, the contractor handling the project, explained that the entire Ikwerre Local Government Area was going to be served by two sources of power; one from Ahoada and the other from Rumuosi sub-stations.
Edevbie charged the people to realize that the power asset was being provided for their own good and should, therefore, be secured while hinting the people that NDDC had made provision for the supply of prepaid metres to be distributed free to poor consumers in the community.
He urged them to also note that it was important to pay for the power they consume to ensure that the providers were able to sustain the service, adding that electricity supply was like a commodity that should be paid for to guarantee continued service.
“In Ubima, we have installed eight transformers and within the next one week, there will be power in the town.
“We are appealing to the communities to safeguard the power infrastructure. The youth leader in Ubima has promised us that our equipment and installations will be protected from being stolen or vandalized.”
For his part, Chairman, Supreme Council of Ikwerre Traditional Rulers, HRM Eze Blessing Wagor, Nye-Nwe Ali Isiokpo, said NDDC had shown that it could be relied upon for development projects.
Wagor speaking through the Traditional Prime Minister of Isiokpo, Chief Wobo Amadi, expressed delight that their agony from many years without electricity would soon be over and pledged that the communities would guard the projects jealously and protect it from vandalism.