Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has flagged off the construction of 11 megawatts (MW) independent power project, expressing confidence that with necessary infrastructure, the state would continue to lead in proffering solutions to power challenges confronting the country.

The project dubbed hybrid power plant is to be executed by Elektron Energy on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.
Speaking at the groundbreaking at the State Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, at the weekend, Makinde said the facility would provide power to government facilities within Agodi and environs.

He dispelled the notion that only the Federal Government could provide power, and that energy generated at the state or local level must be fed to the national grid before it could be distributed.

Citing Section 67(1) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005, which provides that “subject to such terms and conditions as the National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) may fix in the licence, a distribution licence will authorise the licensee to construct, operate and maintain a distribution system and facilities”, the governor maintained that independent power distribution was permissible under the law.

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Other facilities to enjoy from the 11MW hybrid power solution include 12 healthcare facilities, Lekan Salami Sports Complex, the judicial complexes at Iyaganku and Ring Road, the State’s House of Assembly and a selection of schools within a defined catchment from the generation plant.

He said the project, which would be delivered in eight months, would cost N8.027 billion with the state government repaying Elektron Energy for over a ten-year period within which the energy company will operate and manage the infrastructure.

He added that the Special Purpose Vehicle that Elektron Energy will use to execute the contract is Ibadan Hybrid Power Limited (IH Power), noting that IH Power will also be responsible for managing the distribution infrastructure through Ibadan Hybrid Distribution Limited, which will hold an Independent Electricity Distribution Network (IEDN) licence.

Makinde said: “‘Light’ means different things to different people. But when the average Nigerian talks about ‘light,’ they mean electricity – power supply.”

“Nigeria has had a long history of problematic public power supply.

“Well, from the days of NEPA, through to the PHCN and now DISCOS, the problem has essentially remained the same. Nigeria has been unable to generate and distribute enough energy to provide a 24/7-power supply to citizens. In fact, at one time, people even changed the acronym NEPA to mean Never Expect Power Always.

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“Over time, individuals who can afford to have purchased different sizes of petrol or diesel generators or invested in solar energy as alternative sources of power supply.

“But we are not here today to discuss the problem. We are here for one solution to this perennial problem – for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Oyo State Independent Power Project.

He expressed confidence that “Elektron Energy has both the experience and the financial wherewithal to carry out this project as they already own and operate existing IPPs in Nigeria.”

Speaking on the beneficiaries of the project, Governor Makinde said: “The project is being warehoused here at the Oyo State Secretariat, and so the state secretariat and government facilities that enjoy proximity to the secretariat will benefit.”