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*By Kazeem Awojoodu, Ibadan
Governor Makinde has flagged off N8 Billion  Independent Power Project in Ibadan.
9Janewshub.com.ng reports that Oyo state governor Seyi Makinde has flagged off the construction of 11MW Independent Power Project.
The project dubbed hybrid power plant is to be executed by Elektron Energy on a Build-Operate-Transfer model.
Speaking at the groundbreaking at the Sate Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan at the weekend, Governor Makinde  said the facility will provide power to government facilities within the Oyo State Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan and environs.
He dispelled the notions that only the Federal Government could distribute energy, and that any power generated at the state or local level must be fed to the national grid before it can be distributed.
Citing Section 67(1) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005, which provides that, “Subject to such terms and conditions as the National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) may fix in the licence, a distribution license will authorize the licensee to construct, operate and maintain a distribution system and facilities..”, the Governor maintained that independent power distribution is legal.
Other facilities to enjoy from the 11MW hybrid power solution include; 12 healthcare facilities, including Adeoyo Maternity Teaching Hospital, State Hospital Ring Road, the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, the judicial complexes at Iyaganku and Ring Road, the state’s House of Assembly, and a selection of schools within a defined catchment from the generation plant at the Oyo State Secretariat.
He said the project which would be delivered in eight months is to cost N8,027,430,214, with the state government repaying the Elektron Energy for over a ten-year period within which the energy company will operate and manage the infrastructure.
He added that the Special Purpose Vehicle that Elektron Energy will use to execute the contract is Ibadan Hybrid Power Limited (IH Power), noting that IH Power will also be responsible for managing the distribution infrastructure through Ibadan Hybrid Distribution Limited, which will hold an Independent Electricity Distribution Network (IEDN) license.
Makinde said “‘Light’. This word means different things to different people. But when the average Nigerian talks about ‘light,’ they mean electricity – power supply.
“Nigeria has had a long history of problematic public power supply.
“Well, from the days of NEPA, through to the PHCN and now DISCOS, the problem has essentially remained the same. Nigeria has been unable to generate and distribute enough energy to provide a 24/7 power supply to citizens. In fact, at a time, people even changed the acronym NEPA to mean Never Expect Power Always.
“Over time, individuals who can afford to have purchased different sizes of petrol or diesel generators or invested in solar energy as alternative sources of power supply.
“But we are not here today to discuss the problem. We are here for one solution to this perennial problem – for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Oyo State Independent Power Project.
“Before I go into the details of this project, it is important to clarify issues related to power distribution in Nigeria.
“Some have stated that only the Federal Government has the power to distribute energy. So any power generated at the state or local level must be fed to the national grid before it can be distributed. This is only partly true.
“Under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSR), 2005, independent power distribution is allowed. Regarding “Distribution Licenses,” Section 67(1) states that “Subject to such terms and conditions as the Commission may fix in the licence, a distribution license will authorize the licensee to construct, operate and maintain a distribution system and facilities…”
“Based on this, the Oyo State Government is entering into a contract with Elektron Energy to finance and develop an 11MW hybrid power solution for the Oyo State Government and some of its facilities within the Oyo State Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan and environs.
“The Special Purpose Vehicle that Elektron Energy will use to execute this contract is Ibadan Hybrid Power Limited (IH Power). IH Power will also be responsible for managing the distribution infrastructure through Ibadan Hybrid Distribution Limited, which will hold an Independent Electricity Distribution Network (IEDN) license.
“This 11MW solution is called a hybrid power solution because it comprises 10MW gas-fired power generation and a 1MW PV solar solution.”
He expressed confidence that “Elektron Energy has both the experience and the financial wherewithal to carry out this project as they already own and operate existing IPPs in Nigeria.”
Speaking on the beneficiaries of the project, Governor Makinde said “The project is being warehoused here at the Oyo State Secretariat, and so the state secretariat and government facilities that enjoy proximity to the secretariat will benefit.
“Specifically, when completed, this 11MW hybrid power solution will power:
“12 healthcare facilities, including Adeoyo Maternity Teaching Hospital and State Hospital Ring Road. As you may know, our administration has invested heavily in world-class diagnostic and treatment equipment at these hospitals with a direct impact on about 15,622 patients annually.
“The Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba. When we commissioned the main bowl in September this year, some people went to town to say we commissioned a swimming pool. Well, I am happy to tell you that the so-called ‘swimming pool’ may soon be approved by the Confederation of African Football as the new home for the Super Eagles 2022 playoffs!
“This IPP will also power not less 10km radius of public lighting under the ‘Light-Up Oyo’ project. And of course, as we say, where there is light, there is security and economic development.
“The judicial complexes at Iyaganku and Ring Road, the Oyo State House of Assembly and a selection of schools within a defined catchment from the generation plant at the Oyo State Secretariat.”
He further disclosed that, although this project will initially serve Oyo State Government facilities, the government is already thinking of incorporating similar projects into the administration’s vision to facilitate the expansion of the it’s economic base by making power available to industrial catchments with particular reference to the Moniya Business District.
“So, we are very excited about this project. The contractors have told me that it will be ready in six to eight months. Within the terms of our agreement, the Oyo State Government will repay the capital expenditure investment of Elektron Energy over a ten-year period within which the energy company will operate and manage the infrastructure.
“The total cost of the project is pegged at Eight Billion, Twenty Seven Million, Four Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Two Hundred and Fourteen Naira (N8,027,430,214). This project is being executed on a Build-Operate-Transfer basis”, he added.
Speaking earlier at the event which was attended by top government functionaries, traditional rulers, community leaders among others, the state Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Seun Ashamu highlighted the various efforts of his ministry to ensure the government goals are achieved.
He said “Therefore, it is the projects like this that will ensure sustainability of much of what we are doing in the state as we will have the guarantee of 24 hours electricity.
“What we have today is an 11MW gas and solar hybrid plant with a dedicated distribution infrastructure.
“Once commissioned it will result in improved productivity, eradication of dirty fuel generation, increased productivity of government staff and long-term cost savings.
“The impact of the project is measurable: it will impact the productivity of the Executive (about 25million man hours), Judiciary and Legislative arms of government; will power 12 healthcare facilities (where about 15,000 patients are seen annually); a 10km radius of public lighting; and selected schools within the radius.
“The IPP will initially serve Oyo State Government facilities but has the potential to spill over to industry and the wider society, thereby feeding into Administration’s vision to facilitate the expansion of the State’s economy while bettering livelihoods.”

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