Residents of Igbokoda in Ilaje Ese Odo local government in Ondo South senatorial zone who have resigned their fate to living without electricity for the past five years were enveloped in frenzy of joy on Wednesday as Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo commissioned the restored power project facilitated by the BEDC Electricity Plc. (BEDC) and Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) which jointly completed work on the rehabilitation of the power project in the town.
With the commissioning by the Vice-President flanked by Ondo state Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, Executive Director, Commercial of BEDC, Mr. Abu Ejoor, Chief Technical Officer, (CTO) Engr. Ashok Acharya and officials of NDPHC, 10 out of the 21 distribution substations in the Igbokoda community came on with power supply thus illuminating the town which had been out of supply for so many years. The substations that were energized as at Wednesday include; Larada, General Hospital Secretariat road substation, Ikuomola, Ilara, Orioketilu, Church substation, Okoga College road/Omotehin, GRA1, GRA4/NDDC and Broadstreet substations.
The project which is an ongoing exercise is expected to extend to Okitipupa and other parts of Ondo South senatorial zone in due course.
The restoration achieved by BEDC with the speedy rehabilitation of the power project in conjunction with NDPHC under the national Independent power project (NIPP) will bring positive effect on the social and economic activities in the area. It has always been the central town for inhabitants of the Ondo South senatorial district of Ondo state comprising Okitipupa, Ireless, Ilaje, Ese-Odo, Odigbo and Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo local governments due to the presence of several amenities.
The belief by the communities is that if the availability of power supply is addressed, other improvements will follow. Power outage has greatly affected social and economic activities in the area, just as people of the area have resigned their fate to living without electricity.
It will be recalled that federal government had listened to the restive residents of communities under Ondo South senatorial zone over their power rehabilitation project as it directed the National Independent Power Project (NIIPP) to join forces with BEDC for the speedy rehabilitation of the whole network across four local governments namely; Okitipupa, Ese-Odo, Irele and Ilaje local governments in four phases.
Indications to this effect emerged recently after the joint team of BEDC engineers and the NIPP officials worked on the Okitipupa 33Kv overhead line project which covered the aforementioned local government areas in line with the charted out the schedule for the commencement of the whole network rehabilitation.
BEDC it will be recalled, had commenced rehabilitation work on the network but slowed down due to constraints of thick vegetation, and lengthy feeder which made the rehabilitation work prone to faults; a development which accounted for the recent protests by youths of the affected communities. As a step forward, BEDC and NDPHC had collected survey samples of other routes to be used in re-routing the affected lines for the areas under rehabilitation, as a permanent solution to hitches before the NIPP intervention support.
In fact, the BEDC had extended restoration work to Ondo North, South, Odo Aye and Okitipupa, while 19 communities had been connected to the grid in Ondo South including Ore, Odigbo, Adaja and Liyetu among others. In Ondo North, 34 communities have been connected including Gedegede, Ikun, Eriti, Oke-Agbe, Ikare, Arigidi, Oba-Akoko and Ikaram among others.
It will be recalled that in fulfilment of its pledge to Ekiti state government, BEDC Electricity Plc. (BEDC) has last December restored electricity supply to some communities in Ekiti state namely; Erinijiyan, Ipole-Iloro and Ikogosi.