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The Ogoja Electricity crisis; A letter to the Senators…Read

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Sadly the Ogoja community is still battling with Electricity crisis. Read the letter below;

Federal Housing Estate,
Ndok Junction,
Cross River State.
7th March, 2019.

The Senate Committee on Power
National Assembly

Senator Rose Oko
Senator representing Cross River North
National Assembly

Dear Senators,


We write to bring to your notice the plight of the people of Cross River North who are living in darkness. Recall recently that the Honourable Minister of Power had told the whole world that some part of the country now enjoy 24 hours of steady electricity, we in Ogoja are still enjoying darkness and are even paying for darkness.

The impact of all the minister has done this past three and half
years is not being felt in Ogoja, Bekwarra, Yala Local Government Areas, and indeed the entire Northern part of Cross River State.

Historically the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1977 decided to extend
electricity from Enugu the capital of South Eastern State to Abakaliki and Ogoja of which the contractor finally finished the Ogoja project in 1978.
The strength and power of the infrastructure was designed to light up
Yahe, Bansara and Ogoja towns. In 1979 and 1980, Ikom and Obudu were
connected to the same 33kv feeder.

40 years down the line and with over 56 communities being lighted up, and Ogoja, Obudu and Ikom expanding due to human population increase and the resultant heavy demand of electricity, the 32kv power line which radiates from Abakaliki 132/33kv transmission station in Ebonyi state is overloaded and as such cannot function optimally.

The standard Engineering design of a 33kv feeder stipulates that the length of the 33KV feeder should not exceed 70km. the feeder route length presently stands at over 700km. With less than a total number of 20 distribution transformers as at the time of commissioning in 1979, the total number of distribution transformers have risen to over 500, yet, we are still served electricity with this same old lines.

At the moment, Ogoja, Bekwarra and Yala LGAs are witnessing Perennial blackout as a result of the overload of the power line that is made to function far and above it designed capacity. The situation is liken to a man giving his wife the same amount of
money for food now that he has a family of 7 exactly the same he gave
her when they were just married 40 years ago.

To solve this problem, the Federal Government of Nigeria awarded a contract to connect Ikom, Obudu and Ogoja to the national grid with 132kv line at Abakaliki with Ogoja being the last point in the power line.

As at today, the 132kv sub station in Ogoja is 98% ready and waiting for activation, and only 2% of work is needed to complete the work. The transmission sub station in
Ikom is far from completion. The transmission sub station in Obudu is barely above 10% of work. At some point, fire gutted the Obudu transmission sub station material yard.

The 98% completed power sub station at Ogoja cannot be energized when electricity at Abakaliki have not been evacuated to Ikom, then to Obudu before getting to Ogoja. Our research revealed that the Federal Government awarded the contract for the construction of the 132kv power line running from Abakaliki to Ikom, to Obudu and then to Ogoja with Ikom, Obudu and Ogoja having functional power sub stations respectively.

It is estimated that it will take 5 years for the power lines from Abakaliki to reach Ogoja through Ikom, and Obudu. The implication of this to all residence of Ogoja and it environ is that we should brace up for darkness for the next five years.

To this effect, we have met as a people and do hereby make the following demands:

1. That the Federal Government should as a matter of urgency, award
the contract for the construction of 132kv power line from Abakaliki
to Ogoja to activate the already constructed 132kv transmission sub station situated at Garki, Okuku road, Igoli – Ogoja, Cross River State.

2. That the Transmission Company of Nigeria be mandated to come and appraise the state of electricity infrastructure between Abakaliki and Ogoja
through Ikom and Obudu.
3. That you use your good offices to adjust the 2019 budget to accommodate our plight and light up the abandoned but completed power station in Ogoja.

We are confident that you will look into this matter of urgent public importance to bring Ogoja, Bekwarra, Yala and other parts of Northern Cross River State out of darkness. We are tired of paying bills for darkness.

Thank you.

Mike Udam
Eric Kanjal
Tom Alims
Benedict Wonah
Ibu Monkom
Ushonye Ayim
James Udam
Emeka Okenwa
Mohammed Sani
Akoli Simon
Festus Okwo
Bashiru Isa
Femi Otumba

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