Obaseki sustains inroad into Edo’s Electricity Sector, proposes N7.2bn investment in 2023
By Ebuanekpe Joy
Energy is central to the economic development of any modern society.
Investments, inventions and new industries are usually the bases for inclusive growth, employment and shared wealth for the economy, and are made possible by energy.
Amidst the rising inflation in the country, there is a need to improve the already existing structures within the power sector so as to ensure there is a sufficient supply of electricity to prospective investors, manufacturers, large-scale businesses as well as small businesses.
The current energy generation and distribution model that has dictated the development process in the country has proven to be unreliable and cannot drive industrialization on the scale we need to compete with emerging economies of the world.
The inability of governments throughout the world to provide adequate energy is making it difficult for people to reach a fair level of life that is consistent with long-term human development.
This connection between energy and development is still an important component of development policy.
According to the World Energy Council (WEC, 2000b), meeting the three goals of energy accessibility, availability and acceptability is critical to global political stability and is fostering new energy companies.
The Edo State is blessed with a rich reserve of gas, a source of energy which was not harnessed prior to the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government.
This is the major reason why the energy sector has been left fallow in the State. The aftermath of the gross negligence of the energy sector in the State was the lack of industries in the State due to the fact that investors perceived the state to be a civil servant State with no potential of yielding profits for their investments.
But the narrative has changed and this is due to the transformation being driven in the power sector.
The Ossiomo Power plant currently running at 95MW capacity, a brainchild of the Obaseki government is a conscious move made by the Edo State Government to attract investors to the State and ensure that the business climate in the State is friendly to all.
The Ossiomo Power plant which has been operational since 2020 currently supplies several government offices, buildings, and Obayantor and Ologbo communities with uninterrupted light. It also powers the streetlights within the Benin metropolis, thereby extending the city’s economy into the night hours.
In improving and sustaining such a laudable and beneficial project, which is one of the numerous projects embarked upon by the administration in the sector, there is a need to subsequently invest in it, hence the State Government’s decision to allocate 2% of the proposed 2023 Budget to it, as contained in the Appropriation Bill presented by the Governor to the State House of Assembly.
This 2% of the total budget when interpreted implies that the Energy and Electricity sector would be receiving the sum of seven billion, two hundred and eighteen million (N7,218,000,000) for the 2023 fiscal year when approved.
Consequently, this budgetary allocation will enable the energy and electricity sector to extend the Operation Light–up Project to other parts of the State which were not covered in the first phase of the project, as well as enable them to carry out expanded connections to more Government buildings, amongst other projects.
In the 2023 fiscal year, Edo residents are expectant as they await the positive impacts the Energy and Electricity Sector will be making as part of efforts to Make Edo Great Again.