14 yrs blackout: FG assures Ondo communities of electricity by Dec
By Peter Usman://
Federal Government yesterday assured the people of Ondo South senatorial district which have been experiencing “uninterrupted darkness” for the past 14 years, that they will start enjoying electricity by December this year.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio gave the assurance when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs to defend his ministry’s 2022 budget proposals.
Akpabio was responding to an appeal made by the senator representing Ondo South District in the upper legislative chamber, Senator Nicholas Tofowomo who described the blackout in the senatorial district for 14 years as “embarrassing and despicable”.
According to the lawmaker, several communities in Okitipupa, Ilaje, Ese-Odo, Irele and Odigbo Local Government Areas of Ondo State, have been in “uninterrupted darkness” in the last 14 years following their neglect.
He said: “The unfortunate situation in my senatorial district in Ondo State where 90 percent of my people have been deprived of electricity power supply since 2007 which is about 14 years of uninterrupted darkness called for serious concern”
“The situation is embarrassing and despicable because I continue to wonder if Ondo South is part of Nigeria because suffering from electricity blackout for about 14 years has grounded many economic activities in the district.”
In his response, the minister assured that electricity supply will be restored in the affected communities by December this year.
“A lot of efforts have been made in that regard and I can assure you that the electricity supply will be restored by the end of this year and the people will be happy about it,” Senator Akpabio said.
On the 2022 budget, the minister said a total of N28.1 billion was proposed for the ministry out of which N1.69 billion is for personnel cost, N877 million for overhead cost while a total of N25.5 billion is earmarked for capital expenditure.
Senator Akpabio lamented that the fund allocated for capital is gross inadequate in view of several projects begging for attention in the Niger Delta region.
He, therefore, urged the committee to jerk up the capital allocation to enable the ministry sustain the peace in the region.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (APC Delta North), assured the minister that the committee would liase with the leadership of the Senate on the need to provide adequate funds for the ministry in view of the economic importance of the region to the country.