Following the recent permission granted states by the Federal Government to generate, transmit and distribute power within their areas of jurisdiction, Rivers State Government has inaugurated a seven-member Electricity Power Distribution Committee to work out modalities for self sustenance in electricity supply in the state.
The seven-man committee, headed by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Managing Director, Mr Mutiu Summonu, has other members including Hon. Augustine Wokocha, the state Commissioner for Power, Mr Toyin Olagunju, Mr Emmanuel Georgewill and Mr Rotimi Onanuga while Mr Minabelem Michael-West, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power is to serve as Secretary.
The Committee’s terms of reference include reviewing the power supply situation in the state, with a view to developing a sustainable framework for improving power supply and develop a master plan for delivering power to critical infrastructure and industries in the state.
They are equally expected to access the investment requirements for stabilising power supply, carry out an audit of on-going distribution and transmission projects in the state that will impact on the power supply stability.
The Committee is also to advise on sustainable framework for managing distribution infrastructure to maximise benefits to consumers and review the interface between the generation, transmission and distribution network within the state, as well as strategy to improve payment discipline within the state.
Inaugurating the Committee Saturday, Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi thanked members for accepting to serve, particularly the SPDC Managing Director whose presence is an indication of the seriousness the state government attaches to the work of the Committee, noting that by September the state would be generating about 460 megawatts of power, which when distributed would ensure stable supply.
“We are appealing to you to attach the same importance you attach to your job as Managing Director of Shell, it will be to your credit, and that of SPDC, if we are able to achieve this goal before the end of next year”, Governor Amaechi stated.
The governor, who disclosed that the state got the Federal Government to reverse its policy on power distribution, said the regulating framework was one problem the state was beginning to overcome while the experts in the committee would address the issue of management in trying to organise the execution.
“My strategy to achieve result is to set aside anybody who poses problem, even if it involves extra funds, just to achieve our objectives, and when the objective is achieved, we can begin to meet with those people to ask how much they owe us, and what the government owe them, and reconcile the differences”, he observed.
The State Chief Executive urged them to isolate the industrial areas where companies and industries are located and provide them 24 hours power supply as quickly as possible and hope that before the end of 2012, Port Harcourt and the state would have regular supply of electricity.
He congratulated the Committee members for accepting to be patriotic enough to serve and promised to do all within his powers to support the Committee achieve the target.
Responding on behalf of the members, the Chairman of the Electricity Power Distribution Committee, Mr Mutiu Summonu, lauded Governor Amaechi for the vision, noting that he accepted to serve because of the commitment of the governor in whatever he sets out to do.
Mr Summonu assured that members of the Committee would do their best to help in achieving the vision which he believes is an important milestone for the state, adding that the effort would help to develop the economy of the people as an oil producing state.