By Emma Una
SENATOR Ben Ayade on Thursday flagged off 8.2 billion naira hydro electricity project situated at the Obudu Ranch Resort to provide alternative electricity to the state and other surrounding states.
Speaking at the workshop for technicians, and stakeholders in hydro electricity, Senator Ayade bemoaned the failure of Nigeria to utilise the billions of cubit water available in the country to provide alternative power supply in the country.
“After the construction of the Obudu hydro power project, let the next plant be constructed by Nigerian engineers because we have those willing to acquire the skill”.
He said the Chinese who are serving as consultants to the hydro power project adopted the technology from Germany and there is nothing wrong if Nigeria adopts the same approach to meets its electricity needs.
” I declare this workshop open with a sense of melancholy because I find it difficult to understand why at this age we are still where we are: black is no longer a colour but an expression of failure and it is my sincere faith that we grow beyound the level we are now”.
Also speaking, Dr Inyang Asibong, the Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, said there is an urgent need to develop alternative sources of energy from the National Electricity Grid which has not been able to reach all parts of the country.
He said four types of alternative sources of electricity: hydro, wind, solar are available for exploit in the state.
“Small hydro is the development of Hydro electric power on a scale suitable for local community or isolated locations usually not connected to the National Electricity Grid . A small hydro system generates less than 50 mwgawatts of electric.
Cross River State haa many sites suitable for small hydro power supply such as Obudu Ranch Resort, Agbokim Waterfalls, Kwa Falls, etc”
She said the state’s Industrial Policy has its policy thrust and strategy has been the development of the hydro sites to provide alternative sources of energy using environmentally friendly techniques however, over the years “successive administrations in the state have made attempts o develop some sites but such efforts did not go beyound mere policy pronouncements”
The United Nations Industrial Organisation, UNIDO Representative Mr Jean Bakole said there are four hydro sites in the country, Gombe, Cross River, Ekiti and Enugu where 3.5 megawatt hydro electricity sites are being developed at a cost of 60 million USD and in the next few years, work will ne completed in all the sites.”
Vanguard News Nigeria