An Oyo State-based socio-political group, Oyo Kajola Group (OKG), on Tuesday, lauded Governor Seyi Makinde for taking the bold initiative to put up the first state-owned Independent Power Project that is capable of expanding the state’s economy.
The group said that the project, which will generate 11 Megawatts of electricity to government facilities like the secretariat, hospitals, schools, courts and the Light-Up Oyo State project, among others, is a welcomed development.
A statement by the Media Coordinator of the Oyo Kajola Group, Comrade Adebayo Ayandele, noted that the Makinde administration has made it clear that it would never shy away from taking courageous steps to develop Oyo State and that its policies and programmes have continued to move the state in the right direction.
It maintained that contrary to the myopic and misinformed criticism of the project by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) chairman, Prof. Adeolu Akande, the contract with Elektron Energy to finance and develop an 11MW hybrid power solution with 10MW gas-fired power generation and a 1MW PV solar solution, will have a great impact on the State.
The OKG equally described as unjustifiable and misguided, comments credited to the NCC chairman that the IPP project would only service the government house and state secretariat and that the contract sum of N8 billion for the project is exorbitant.
The group charged Akande to seek more information about different efforts and policies already put in place by the Oyo State government to reduce youth unemployment, including the Youth Entrepreneurship in Agriculture, among others, instead of holding on to that premise to criticise the government for taking a step that should have been taken many years ago.
The OKG warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain to stop playing to the gallery by misinforming the public to gain undue attention, stating how the governor had listed the high impact the IPP project would have on residents of the state.
The governor had, at the groundbreaking ceremony, maintained that the project would increase productivity in governance and positively impact the state’s economy, adding that the project cost of N8 billion would be repaid over a period of 10 years and that it is a build, operate and transfer arrangement.
The OKG’s statement said: “Again, the government of Governor Seyi Makinde has taken another giant leap- this time in the energy sector – by breaking the ground for an Independent Power Project.
“It is a welcome development that the IPP project would capture the legislative complex, judicial complex at Iyaganku, schools, 12 healthcare facilities, including Adeoyo Maternity Teaching Hospital and State Hospital Ring Road, with a direct impact on about 15,622 patients annually.
“It is equally instructive that the remodelled Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba will be supplied with electricity from the IPP, when completed, as well as not less than 10km radius of public lighting under the ‘Light-Up Oyo’ project.
“The governor had also made it clear that his government is already thinking of incorporating similar projects into the administration’s vision to facilitate the expansion of the state’s economic base by making power available to industrial catchments.
“Like Governor Makinde, well-meaning residents of Oyo State should be excited about the IPP project.
“But as expected, wherever there is a good development in the interest of Oyo State citizenry, the APC usually acts as an agent of falsehood and misinformation.
“We read the criticism of Prof. Adeolu Akande against the governor for embarking on the laudable project as one of such.
“In order to achieve his agenda of gaining undue attention through his constant and needless criticisms of the Makinde government, Akande resorted to falsehood and misinformation on the IPP project, stating that the project would only provide electricity to the Government House and the state secretariat.
“Naturally, one should not query the source of Akande’s professorship, as it is the time-tested academic practice that a professor must be a Reader, but with the NCC chairman proving himself a failure at reading, having failed to read and digest the scope of the IPP contract before jumping to the press as he always does, one is forced to ask why a professor would yield himself as a servant in the temple of fake news.
“We would like to warn members of the public to beware of the contents coming from false social crusaders and false friends of the masses like Akande.
“For the avoidance of doubts, Oyo State has continued to be in the news as one of the best states with the highest internally generated revenues in the country, second best state in startup ecosystem and many other economic expansion indices. Does Akande think these are flukes or they came as a result of Governor Makinde sitting down and doing nothing as the previous administration in which he served as Chief of Staff for two years?
“The Makinde administration has proven itself adept at using data and logic as well as informed financial management approach to developing Oyo State. Such great thinking produced the Alternative Project Funding Approach, which has been employed to develop Oyo State’s infrastructure, adding that such good policies produced the IPP project and the financing model for the contract,” the group added.