13 December 2012, Sweetcrude, Enugu – Efforts are currently at an advanced stage for the construction of an Independent Power Plant, IPP, in the commercial city of Onitsha, aimed at addressing the perennial power shortage and outages in the city.
This was disclosed by the President of the Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Dr. Tim Anosike, at the 23rd Annual Luncheon and Award Ceremony of the Chamber, held at Sharon House, G.R.A, Onitsha.
Dr. Anosike, who said the proposed power plant will be gas – powered, regretted that all these years, residents of Onitsha had suffered insufficient and epileptic electricity supply, in spite of the industrialization going on in the city, adding that this problem had hindered the pace at which Onitsha would have grown industrially.
He stated that the Chamber of Commerce decided to take up the campaign for the construction of the power plant as part of its service to humanity, noting that the project, when completed would bring a lot of succour, not only to business and industrial operators, but to the generality of the people living in the city, in terms of quantity and quality of electricity generated for industrial and domestic uses.
He declared, “right now, the Chamber of Commerce is pursuing an Independent Power Plant for Onitsha as a way of addressing the perennial power outage. I therefore, wish to call on our industrial operators and other big business establishments to please, come forward and identify with the Chamber now, so that, collectively, we can mid-wife the project in good time.”
He also appealed to the Anambra State Government for “support and assistance to the Chamber, as a way of appreciating her meaningful role in public advocacy.”
Speaking on behalf of the Anambra State Government, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Robert Okonkwo, agreed that Onitsha, as the largest and oldest commercial city in West Africa, should not have had to suffer from shortage of electricity and pledged that government would collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce and Industrialists in the state to ensure the Independent Power Plant was built in Onitsha.
The Commissioner added that, besides alleviating the sufferings of the people, the state government stood to benefit from the increased volume of industrial and commercial activities in Onitsha, which the boost in electricity supply by the Independent Power Plant, would bring about – in terms of enhanced revenue generation for government.
In a brief chat shortly after, on whether the Power Plant was intended to serve the whole of the Onitsha Metropolis, the Chamber President told Sweetcrude that their main focus for now, was the electrification of a new industrial layout called ‘Habour’ Industrial Layout, located near the Onitsha Bridge Head, and extention to residential areas later on.