The administration of Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has connected 300 of the 447 communities in the state to national grid within the first four years in office.
The General Manager of the Enugu State Rural Electrification Board, Mr. Onyema Odo disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Tuesday.
Odo said that since Ugwuanyi came on board as the governor of the state in 2015, it had been massive transformation in the electricity sector adding that he had not seen that type of development since the creation of the board.
He said that when the governor came on board, he made it clear that he was interested in human and infrastructural development.
The GM said that he had approved for the purchase of a lot of transformers to the rural communities, installed high tension lines in several communities, electrified and energized 13 communities that never had electricity.
“Some of the communities that had electricity needed extension due to population increase and increase in gadgets, so we have to change the 300kVA transformers in those areas to 500KVA to accommodate the increase in load.
“We have extended electricity to different communities across the state.
“Apart from our traditional rural electrification projects, we have intervention programmes here and there, and the governor has intervened in terms of security, donated transformers to the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army and others.
“The street lights in the 82 division have been installed; we equally extended electricity in the Garrison Command, Diagnostic Centre, Zoo Estate and Diamond Estate.
“We also have interventions in most of the key nongovernmental areas like in Cathedral, Nchatancha Nike, and Geoffrey Okoye University, all these are under interventions not in our key mandate.
“The governor in his magnanimity re-installed transformer in Juhel Filling station that was razed down by fire,” he said.
Odo said that the board was also in charge of streetlight maintenance all over the state adding that it had 43 functional generating sets for street lights.
According to him, from our last survey, we had 183Kms road length of underground armored cable and over 6,000 streetlights scattered only in Enugu city.
He said that in Nsukka, they had 15 functional generators and 3,405 street lights expanded in over 73kms adding that the governor had made it to be a first line charge because of the security implications.
The GM said that people see Enugu as a safe haven where they could come, relax and go about their normal business adding that the cost of maintaining the street lights was very expensive.
Odo said that the main challenge facing the board was street light vandalism and destruction.
“Every now and then, some reckless drivers knock down the poles while hoodlums vandalize armored cables in Milken Hill, Gariki, Coal Camp, New Haven and other places in the city.
“We have about 13 men standing trials because they were caught in the act, they are creating darkness here and there so we are working with vigilance groups, the police, civil defence to see if they can police some of these projects.
“It is the same problem we have in rural communities where we install our transformers, you find out that every now and then the armored cables are being vandalized.
“I appeal to communities in the state to ensure that the projects in their areas are being sustained. The situation is pathetic where government will spend millions of naira in developmental project and the hoodlums who supposed to benefit from it are the ones vandalizing it.
“It is a helpless situation especially in the rural communities, hoodlums should leave our installations alone; they should cooperate with their people to guard the electricity projects in the communities,” he said.
Odo however, said that with the speed which the governor was going with electricity projects, before the end of his second tenure, no community in the state would be talking about electricity need. (NAN)