By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has expressed dismay over perceived avoidable delays in the completion of the 330 KV power substation located in Akurba.
The Governor expressed his displeasure shortly after inspecting progress of work at the site of the project, on Wednesday.
Engineer Sule who was visibly angry over the inability of the contractor handling the project in time, vowed to intervene and to approach all parties concerned, in order for the project to come on board.
In a chat with journalists at the site of the project, the Governor lamented the power situation, especially in Lafia, the state capital, where residents enjoy only 1-2 hours of electricity daily, with residents left to depend on generators for power.
“The Government House is on generator almost for 24 hours. It does not make sense, especially at a period like this when people should be saving.
“A state like Nasarawa should be saving money, not wasting money on diesel and then generating power from a source that is even unhealthy even to the human body,” he stated.
Engineer Sule promised to follow up on the matter, to ensure the project is completed in a short time.
Available information indicate that the 330 KV Akurba power substation was unnecessarily delayed for over three months because of the inability of the contractor to evacuate vital equipment that were manufactured outside the country but were now delayed at the country’s port in Lagos.
According to the Governor, the only thing remaining as far as the substation is concerned, was the line-in, line-out, to drop the major line and to take out power from the station.
He explained that disagreement between the Nigeria Custom Service and the Federal Ministry of Finance on the method of payment of duties, was responsible for the delay in clearing the equipment and ferrying such to Lafia for installation.
“Initially I had thought the equipment had not been manufactured, they have to be manufactured outside the country and then brought in.
“But I learnt few days ago that they have been manufactured, shipped, even arrived in Nigeria since over three months ago. But because of some disagreements as a result of new style of payment for duties, between the customs and Ministry of Finance, because of the online payment, that is what caused the delay,” the Governor said.
Engineer Sule expressed concern that the delay was avoidable.
“We have had three months delay for this project, which is completely unnecessary. Because this project should have been completed in December, with all the efforts that have been put there,” he added.
The Governor promised to interface with all the necessary agencies, to facilitate the quick evacuation of the equipment from Lagos, adding that hopefully, the equipment will be in Lafia within one week.
Aside of the Akurba power substation, Engineer Sule equally visited the ongoing Lafia Mega Bus Terminal, where he impressed on the contractor to hasten to complete the project, which is expected to be commissioned in June this year.
The Governor also visited the state Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, where he inspected ongoing renovation at the ministry.