Towards sustaining electricity supply in Oyo state

Oyo state government is also queing towards the provision of electricity to the state and immediate neighbours. BAYO ABOOLA reports.

Oyo state government under the leadership of Gov Seyi Makinde is living no one in doubt about its preparedness to make good use of the opportunity provided for state governments in the country to generate hydro power by utilising small dams that are in different communities in their states in line with the new Electricity Act.

Rolling out the plan

It could be recalled that the minister of power Adebayo Adelabu at a recent meeting with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and states energy commissioners stated this. It was in a bid to further promote provision of quality power supply to households, businesses and underserved communities in the country through collaboration among states and the federal government. He therefore minced no words in emphasising that states should be encouraged in line with the new Electricity Act to also generate hydro power by utilising small dams that are in different communities in the respective states.

“One of the plans we have is to utilise rivers in some states to generate electricity. There are small dams that can generate between 500 kilowatts to 10 megawatts; we want to encourage states to do that including hybridising the hydro with solar for seamless transition  during the dry season when the water level is low.”

Makinde followed suit

Few days after this, Gov Makinde at the 20th anniversary of the the British American Tobacco (BAT), Ibadan Plant hinted that Oyo state will be the first in the country to achieve energy sufficiency as achieving energy sufficiency in the state had always been a major focus of his government. According to him, the state government is ready to partner with BAT to achieve this and that the state would look forward to working with BAT to improve electricity supply in the state. This was however before the Aba Geometric power Station came on stage.

“we are going to be commissioning a 1.4 megawatts solar plant. This is pretty much in line with our aspiration in Oyo state. For us, energy sufficiency is a big part of this administration. When I came in, there was no energy ministry but we now have and the commissioner for the ministry is here. Less than 3km from here, you have the City Gate for the gas coming into Ibadan. So, we should be able to work together to utilise Nigerian gas in this environment.”

The governor stressed that Oyo state will also within the next few weeks commission its 11 megawatts power plant, with 10 megawatts gas-driven while 1 megawatt is solar-powered. He announced that he would soon sign the bill establishing the Oyo State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

“One thing I want to say is that we have also been working on the legal end of things. You know the constitution has just been amended.The House of Assembly has just passed the bill and I will be signing the bill into law before the end of this week.The bill has created the Electricity Regulatory Commission in Oyo State.” 

Signing Oyo electricity act into law

On Thursday, February 8, Gov Makinde finally signed the Oyo State Electricity Regulatory Commission bill 2024 into law to give the states opportunity to develop its own roadmap to sustainable electricity stressing that with the decentralisation of electricity generation, transmission and distribution, it has become obvious that Nigerians can access dividends of democracy if federalism is practised as it should be and more powers are devolved to the states.

“As promised earlier in the week, we are signing the Oyo State Electricity Regulatory Commission Bill 2024 into law today. This law will enable Oyo state to generate, transmit and distribute electricity within the state. Amendments of the constitution like this is what we mean when we advocate for fiscal federalism. In years to come as we work towards energy sufficiency, our people can hold state governments accountable on the issue of electricity supply.”

It is a fact that unstable power supply stands as one of the major factors threatening Nigerian economy, forcing big factories as well as medium scale industries to fold up unceremoniously while others are having sleepless night as a result of the dwindling and erratic power supply in and across the country as at present.

 For a state like Oyo to at this critical period be contemplating having its own power supply, is no doubt, a laudable step, if it actually turns out to be a reality as it will among others boost the state economy by attracting investors to the state as well as relieve the people of the state from untold suffering of unending power blackout in Ibadan and other major towns in across Oyo state.

With the signing of the Oyo State Electricity Regulatory Commission Bill 2024 into law, all eyes are now on the Gov Makinde-led administration to make good the gesture by coming up with an independent electricity project of the state brand within the shortest period of time as this will go a long way towards enhancing power generation at least in Oyo state. 

The minister of power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu had on several occasions emphasized that power supply for the country should be the concern of all tiers of government in the country. He was speaking recently at the office of Gov Seyi Makinde during his working visit to the state. There, he disclosed that with the termination of the power of attorney granted the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI), state governments in the country are set to have some power of attorney in DISCOs’ operations, adding that giving some power of attorney to states in DisCos was in considering the fact that states are closest to identifying electricity issues in their domains, hence should be empowered to drive DisCos to performance.

He stressed that with the overall supervision of DisCos now to be done through MOFI, governments, both at the federal and state levels, must acknowledge and live up to their duty to ensure that DisCos are efficient in distributing power across the country, stressing that “Government ownership of DisCos has been transferred from BPE to MOFI which means the overall supervision of DisCos would be through MOFI. What we are trying to do is to look at where MOFI actually gives some power of attorney to the states to get involved in DisCos operations because it is easier for the states to know where improvement is required. The states can know easily where there are issues; so, states will be more involved with DisCos.”