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Bayelsa State Govt Flays Media Report On Ghost Project

Source: pointblanknews.com
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BAYELSA STATE GOVT FLAYS MEDIA REPORT ON GHOST PROJECT

…VOWS TO LEGITIMATELY DEMAND FOR MORE POWER
STATIONS TO BOOST SUPPLY
The Bayelsa State Government says no amount of blackmail from any section of the

country and the press will stop it from demanding a fair share of additional

transmission stations to enhance electricity supply in the State.

This position was made known in a joint press statement issued by the State

Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Francis Ikio and Special Adviser to the Governor

on Power, Engineer Olice Kemenanabo in Yenagoa.
Apparently reacting to reports in some sections of the media, titled “Investigation:

Jonathan Seeks N1.8billion to Fund Ghost Project”, the duo flayed the

publication as a mockery of journalism aimed at embarrassing President Goodluck

Jonathan and abusing the collective sensibilities of the entire people of

Bayelsa State.
“The publication is to say the least insulting and aimed at embarrassing the

President in furtherance of the smear campaign orchestrated by a group of

persons.
“Irrespective of the President coming from Bayelsa State, we are not fools in Bayelsa not to

appreciate what we need and legitimately demand for it from the relevant

Federal Government agencies to address our inadequacies especially as it

affects the electricity infrastructure. The power needs of Bayelsa

State, according to our last comprehensive
load study, indicates far above 250MW, they stressed.

According to the statement, the funds in question are not meant for any phantom project

but actually targeted at upgrading the existing 40MVA at Gbarantoru in Yenagoa

Local Government Area to connect the entire State.
It noted, “Bayelsa State as you all know was created on the 1st of

October 1996 and was depending on 2 x 20MW Gas Turbines in Kolo Creek which

capacity was exceeded as far back as 2004 due to rapid load growth in the State

capital alone.
In 2006, when the national grid eventually came, we felt a temporary relief but in

less than no time, the station could serve only parts of Yenagoa due to the

capacity, which was not more than what we were generating from the

power station”.
The
statement further pointed out that “the only 40MVA Transmission station is

grossly inadequate and is under serious stress arising from overload even as

the supply is limited to the State capital and few communities.

Indeed the station (Gbarantoru Transmission
Station) is at the brink of collapse and if urgent steps are not taken to

upgrade it, there is imminent total outage in the state.

“Therefore,
if the Federal Ministry of Power in their wisdom is proposing the upgrade of

the existing station to 90MVA, and a section of the media interprets it as Mr.

President seeking N1.8billion to fund ghost projects in his home State, is

unfortunate”.
Dismissingas untrue, the claims by the media outfit that officials of the Federal

Ministry of Power, who spoke to it on anonymity saying “that there is

no official documentation for the project”, the Special

Adviser to the Bayelsa State Governor on power, Mr. Kemenanabo insisted that,

the process leading to the approval of the project was well documented.

Brandishing
a letter dated 22nd April, 2013 titled “Bayelsa State Power

Situation” and addressed to the then permanent secretary of the federal

ministry of power, Mr Kemenanabo maintained that the development was a product

of effective collaboration between the former and the Bayelsa State Government.

His
words, “That (claim) is not true. On the 22nd of April, 2013 before

the present Permanent Secretary came in, there was a permanent secretary by

name Mrs Dere Awosika to whom we sent technical presentation explaining the

exact situation in the power system in Bayelsa State as it affects the only

transmission station provided by the Federal Government since 2006.

“In
that meeting, we agreed jointly that a technical committee comprising

stakeholders from Bayelsa State that was represented by the commissioner for

energy, me and the Director of power in the Bayelsa State Ministry of Energy.

Then, on the Federal Government's side, we had a Director from the Rural

Electrification Agency, representatives of the Niger Delta Power Holding

Company, representatives of Transmission Company of Nigeria and those from

Federal Ministry of Power,” he said.
Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Chief
Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State