11 February 2013, Asaba – The Commissioner for Power and Energy in Delta, Mr Charles Emetulu, said that the State Government had distributed 3,000 transformers to boost electricity supply across the state between 2001 and 2012.
Emetulu, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Asaba, said many electricity sub-stations were constructed by the State Government around during the period.
He said that the State Government was mindful that electricity was an exclusive responsibility of the Federal Government but said it intervened to make life easier for its citizens.
“We procure the transformers, build the sub-stations and hand all of them over to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, without demand for any form of compensation or refunds,” he said.
He said that in 2012, government purchased 269 “specially customised” transformers of various grades at the cost of N2 billion, adding that the transformers were distributed based on requests from communities.
“We don’t just donate transformers. What we do is to distribute and install a transformer and we switch it on before handing over to the PHCN.
“Recently, we completed a 7.5MVA Sub-station at Olomoro in Isoko South valued at N200 million and two 2.5MVA sub-stations at Ororokpe in Okpe at the cost of N77 million and handed over to PHCN,” the commissioner said.
Emetulu said that the state Government had in the past six years provided street lights in major cities through thermal solar facilities but regretted that the facility was being vandalised across the state.
“Regrettably, the people are the greatest challenge to the power facilities. They tap electricity from the street lights into their homes.
“They also siphon diesel from the generators attached to the street lights, steal batteries, remove kick-starters and vandalise the armored cables and throw the people into darkness, especially in Warri, Ughelli and Asaba.”
He, however, said that the ministry had engaged the services of vigilance groups in various communities to monitor the facilities as a measure toward reducing vandalism cases.
Emetulu said that in spite of the setback street lights would be extended to more towns in the state in 2013.
He expressed the hope that the deregulation of the power sector in the country would enable the State Government to manage and generate revenue from power that would be generated from its Independent Power Project at Oghara.