Mixed reactions trail the proposed establishment of three power generating plants by Okowa

Adodo Osewengie

Recently the media has been grounded with the news of the Delta State Government proposed setting up three additional power plants located in Ozoro, Warri and Agbor to boost the epileptic electricity supply in the state.

Though some Deltans have applauded the development, others have given room to rethink the feasibility of achieving these projects in due time with the notion that the Okowa’s administration has entered its final laps to complete its tenure.

Why on earth projects of this magnitude would be considered for an award in Okowa’s injury time to leave the seat of the number one citizen of Delta State? Deltans have resulted in pertinent questions to know the genuine motive of the government behind these projects.

According to feelers from some quarters, it is a wide goose chase by the government of Okowa who for six-half have not been able to complete the dualisation of Ughelli-Asaba Expressway to embark on projects that the time of completion is way above his a-year-five months left to leave the office as the governor of Delta state.

Though the government has said it is a public-private partnership, with the financing and establishment solely borne by the independent contractors and companies, some persons are of the view that the contractors would likely be cronies and alliances of Governor Okowa. To them, it is an avenue to mortgage the resources of the state to themselves and families yet unborn.

According to the commissioner of power and energy, Mr. Jonathan Ukodhiko, the government is not contributing a dime to these power projects but will only stand as a guarantor for Deltans that the electrical power generated from these power stations will be consumed entirely in the state and duly paid for by Deltans.

Ukodhiko added that if Deltans refused to pay up for the electricity consumed, it is the responsibility of the Delta State government to pay up for the used power to ensure the companies continue to generate power and recoup the resources ploughed into setting up the power generating stations.

This statement made by the commissioner has continued to generate controversies from Deltans who faulted the statement saying it is a means to mortgage the resources of the state into the pockets of few selected cabals, revealing that it is almost certain that a vast number of Deltans in the rural areas living below poverty index would not be able to afford these outrageous bills.

Ukodhiko in his disclosure said that the arrangement bordering on generation, transmission and distribution, empowering the private key players, has reached an advanced stage in legislation.

Deltans are now asking how can legislation on proposed projects of this magnitude be taking place without the government setting up a public hearing for Deltans who will be the main beneficiaries of these projects to make contributions to the bill to this effect? What is the government hiding from the knowledge of the public?

Also in the Delta South senatorial district, particularly the Isoko nation where Mr. Jonathan Ukodhiko hails from, there are wide criticisms over the proposal by some political blocs stating that it is all a political jamboree by the commissioner to score some cheap political point for his house of representatives 2023 ambition.

The people are of the knowledge that Ukodhiko who has suffered backlashes in recent times over his sudden involvement in financing some humanitarian activities to Isoko people to endear him in their hearts is on a mission to prove he is fit to lead when outrightly it is on the negative.

Recalling the end result of the Independent Power Project (IPP) undertaken by the previous administration and the souring taste it left on Deltans buds, they noted that this is another conduit pipe to drain the state’s resources as a parting gift to Okowa.

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