The manifold epileptic power supply bedeviling Nigerians will soon become a thing of the past as the Cross River state government in partnership with UNIDO, a United Nations Agency Thursday May 27, 2021 converged experts in Calabar for a one week small hydro power workshop with a view to positively changing the narrative in power generation and distribution in the state and country.
Speaking while welcoming participants to the epoch event, Dr. Inyang Asibong, Commissioner Ministry of International Development Cooperation Cross River state, who also double as the coordinating Commissioner for international donor Agencies thanked Mr Jean Bakole, UNIDO Regional Director and Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS and all other players in the industry for aligning with the industrialization drive of Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade in Cross River state.
Dr. Asibong noted that the importance of small hydro power generation to a booming economy and environment cannot be over emphasized as it is both cost effective and echo-friendly. In her words
“This event is happening at a time when people are asking if there is no workable alternative to the national electricity grid which cannot cover all the nooks and crannies of this country.
“In the light of this, small hydro power has been identified as a viable alternative for areas especially not covered by the national grid.
“There is no doubt that the full implementation of this framework is the surest pathway to sustainable development goals in Cross River state. For us, goal number seven which is affordable and clean energy remains a priority.
“Cross River state is blessed with great geological potentials for small hydro power given her vast echo-region which has one of the best resort landmarks for small hydro power, ranging from the waters of Bakassi, to the hills of Obudu, This is in view of the fact that concentration of full hydro power is tilting heavily towards regions with hills and forests cover.
Therefore, regions like Kwafalls in Akamkpa, Kundebe market stone in Obanliku and others will benefit hugely from these strides.
“I want to welcome all of you to this epoch making event. Special thanks to Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade, Executive Governor, Cross River state, Prof. Ivara Esu, Deputy Governor Mr. Jean Bakole, Regional Director, UNIDO and all other participants for this August support and workshop.”
On the major sources of energy generation, the International Asibong added that they are two major sources of energy generation, which are renewable and non-renewable energy. According to her, the state under the leadership of Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade is well positioned to liberate Cross River from the claws of darkness as she highlight major energy centers, with both renewable and non-renewable functions domiciled in the state. According to her
“The two major sources of power are, the renewable and non-renewable. I’m happy to say that Cross River state is using these two major sources. On the non-renewable energy, we have a 23 megawatts diesel plant called Ayade power plant at parliamentary extension, which is hundred percent completed, functional and operational. We also have Yakurr, Ogoja, Obudu two megawatts each of diesel power plants constructed by the state. We also have a gas power plant, 85 percent complete, which also generates 26 megawatts in Tinapa, Cross River state.
“On the renewable energy, we have a solar power plant that can contain all our solar panels in the Northern Senatorial District, it is situated there because of the need for huge landmarks for solar pans. We are also working on a hydro power plant at Agbokim waterfalls. These power plant are multi fueled power plants which incorporates renewable and non renewable energy sources. As I speak, there is a team of investors going across the state 33 industries conducting a power audit with the Commissioner for Power. Their plan is to convert these our plants to renewable energy, which is more sustainable, durable, cheaper and echo friendly.
More so, His Excellency has set up a human machinery in motion to drive this vision. So we have a full fledged Renewable Energy Commission led by the dynamic Mr. Ogar Iduku with Chief Mathias Ake, as SA on
renewable energy. This workshop is participatory requiring all participants to contribute their quota to the achievement of a favorable outcome. She stated
Also speaking while declaring the event open, Sen. Ben Ayade, the Cross River state governor in an emotion laden voice challenged Africans, both young and old, leaders and the governed to inculcate the attitude of technological research so as to reduce excessive dependency on Western blocs for all of the continent problems.
“I declare this workshop open with a sense of melancholic that perhaps experts who will be speaking on the subject are people below the age of 30. The difference is that they are not Nigerians. We need to change our systems to bring in the right values.
“Over 207 billion people depending on the Chinese for electricity is a thing of shame. “Black is no longer a colour, but rather an expression of an attitude of failure, greed, and self-centeredness. That story must be changed.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we gathered here today as Nigerians with these young Chinese as the expert that will build our mini hydro power plant in Obudu Cattle Ranch. As I watch and listen to them, I start asking what is really wrong with us as Africans.
“Before we get into the subject matter, let us ask ourselves with a righteous sense of justice if indeed we have been fare to the African continent?
“It’s nice that we are starting the mini hydro plant with a workshop that will equip us with the training and skills for us to build our plant going forward.
“Jean Bakole was right when he said indeed Nigerians made Africa, whereas Nigeria is blind in all aspects.
“There’s nobody who loves you more than yourself, so you must demonstrate commitment. I’m happy with UNIDO and particularly my friend Bakole for initiating a training workshop ahead of the main construction.
“I declare this workshop opened with the challenge that after the construction of Obudu cattle ranch 35 megawatts power plant, let the next plant be constructed one hundred percent by Nigeria engineers.” Ayade said
The opening ceremony of the hydro power workshop wish took place at the Transcorp Hotel calabar, has in attendance members of the state Executive council, representatives of the federal government, political appointees of the state government business consultants and other critical stakeholders in the power sector