Oyo State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Barrister Temilolu ‘Seun Ashamu, has declared that state has already begun efforts towards achieving independent power supply in the next few years.
He maintained that the options of building an independent power station were already being explored by the state.
Ashamu sought for the support of the leaderships of both the federal and state’s energy generation and power supply agencies for the government to improve the distribution of electricity across the length and breadth of the state.
Ashamu, while speaking on a radio programme, said that the government would take advantage of its potentials such as dams and landscape to power unserved areas in the state to increase the hours of electricity supply in the state.
He said: “The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is saddled with the responsibility of coordinating independent power in Oyo State to establish independent electric grid.
“We are working on creating a conducive environment for effective teaching and learning in schools. Also, there should be steady power supply in our hospitals and primary health centres.
“Last year, I sought permission from the governor to meet with the Transmission Company of Nigerian in Abuja. We met with them on how to improve the electricity distribution in the state.”
The commissioner expressed the readiness of the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration to further improve on the well-being of citizens through the actualization of the independent power supply project initiative.
He added: “On the economic side of things, we know that if we want foreign investors in our state, we must assure them of constant power supply.”
He added that efforts were ongoing to identify potentials and resources in each zone of the state and locations in order to determine appropriate means of generating power for residents of each zone, saying: “We are currently on a survey to identify the quality and quantity of mineral resources we have in our state. This would attract private investors to the state for the development of the sector.”
He reiterated that the ministry would make use of natural energy solutions such as solar, wastes, water, farmland and air, among others, to address the issue of irregular power supply in earnest.
“As regards natural resources, we must first gather sufficient data before taking any step. This is what Minerals Development Agency is currently doing. They are surveying the entire state to know how many natural resources we have, their location, sufficiency and quality. It is this data that can be used to attract foreign investments.”
Barr. Ashamu, who admonished residents of the state to be patient and cooperate with the state government in its quest to bring the independent power supply project into reality, said: “What we are looking at is to have programmes for our rural communities, which will be different from the urban areas. Of course, it is with this that we would be talking about generating independent power for all. We would use natural energy solutions such as; solar, waste, water and wind to generate electricity.
“We need the cooperation of the residents of the state. We also want our people to be patient with us. For instance, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has just been established, therefore, we started with establishing a management and staffing framework that we would be working with.
“Also, there are some strategies that would be adopted to reduce wastage in the use of electricity in residential and commercial buildings.”