Electricity supply is actually nose
diving most parts of Nigeria. In Plateau
State, for instance, some operators of
small scale business within Jos, the state
capital, have been groaning saying that
their operations have been hampered
by epileptic electricity supply and
persisting petrol scarcity. A hairdresser
who spoke to our correspondent in
Abatior area of Jos South LGA who gave
her name as Victoria Alan, said that
the epileptic power supply is seriously
affecting their business.
She said that “I could only serve
few of my clients because of nonsteady
electricity and with the ongoing
scarcity of fuel, I am unable to provide
services to my clients”. She called on the
government to do everything possible to
tackle the issue of epileptic power in the
country headlong because it is affecting
the image of the present administration”.
Illiya Solomon, a barber in Dogon
Karfe area of Jos said the poor supply of
power and petrol scarcity have forced his
business operations down. What he now
does skeletal services to his customers.
He therefore called on government to
ensure that the fuel scarcity is tackled in
order to save him the agony of searching
for petrol to operate his electricity
generator when ever there is no public
power supply.
A restaurant and bar owner in the
state who does not want her name
in print lamented that the electricity
supply around her locality in Bukuru is
poor and that she was disappointed with
the difficulty in getting petrol as a result
of the scarcity. She said “I am operating
at a loss because I get petrol for almost
1,000 naira for a gallon for my generator
in order to run my refrigerator so as to
keep my chickens, fishes and other items
cold and fresh.
“The epileptic power supply has also
been a challenge as we hardly get light
for 2 hours in a day”, she added.
Meanwhile to tackle the issues of poor
power supply in the state, the Plateau
State government has said that plans
are currently on going to resuscitate
the Plateau Electricity Cooperation. Mr.
David Wuyep, Plateau’s Commissioner
for Water Resources and Energy,
disclosed this to newsmen in Jos recently.
He said .“The State government is
putting in mechanism to resuscitate the
Plateau Electricity Cooperation. However
this time around, it wouldn’t just be a
an electricity cooperation but an energy
cooperation. Energy is way beyond
electricity. Electricity is just one of the
forms of energy”, he disclosed.
Wuyep revealed that the bill for the
resuscitation of the moribund cooperation
is in the State House of Assembly and that
it would soon be passed into law so that
the Plateau Energy Cooperation could
commence operation. He disclosed that
the State is blessed with three out of the
four major sources of renewable energy.
“Plateau has over 20 hydro-points
where we can generate hydro-electricity.
It is a good shed for water and it drains
into various river basins and streams
where we can easily generate electricity
because it’s on slope and that gives us
natural kinetic energy with which we can
generate electricity.
“Plateau is also the 3rd highest solar
radiation point in Nigeria after the North-
East and North-West so this puts us at a
vantage position to generate Solar energy.
The state is also lying along three wind
corridors that have the highest speed
in the country almost on the index 3
and 4 that means we are well poised
to generate electricity using wind” he
explained. Furthermore, he disclosed that
the Cooperation would be engaged in the
generation and distribution of such within
and outside the state.
It could also be recalled that recently
the state House of Assembly had charged
Ministries, Departments and Agencies
(MDAs) in the state to devise means of
generating revenue for government to
cushion the effect of dwindling economic
situation. The MDAs were challenged
when defending their 2016 budget
proposals before various committees of the
Assembly recently in Jos.
Challenging the state’s Ministry for
Water and Energy, the chairman of the
House Committee on Water Resources,
Mr Peter Ibrahim, urged the ministry to
look inward with a view to generating
more revenue for government. ’’You are
a revenue generating ministry, and with
the present dwindling economic saga, we
have to think deep and work assiduously
to generate money for the runnings of
government.
’’As a ministry in-charge of energy and
water, you have ample opportunity to
generate a lot of money for government.
Water and energy are essential parts
of human existence and once they are
available, people will not grumble to pay
for it. In 2015, you generated only N13
million for government, which to my mind
is nothing to write home about,’’ he said.
On improving the revenue profile of
the ministry, the commissioner suggested
that the moribund Plateau Electricity
Corporation (PEC) should be revamped.
’’Once this corporation is resuscitated,
most of the problems will be solved
because it will naturally handle the issues
of under staff and what have you,’’ he
assured.
In a related development , Wife of the
Plateau Governor, Mrs. Regina Lalong,
has said that the State government
is working with financial institutions
to bring down interest rates to ease
woman’s access to loans. According to
her “There are women engaged in small
scale farming and entrepreneurship,
but find it very difficult to access microcredit
facilities. We are reaching out to
institutions like the Bank of Industry to
help such women”.
She stated this at a ceremony to mark
this year’s International Women’s Day
Celebration on Tuesday. Mrs Lalong
said that the collaboration would focus
on bringing down the interest rate
to remove bottlenecks on the path to
progress. The governor’s wife said that
the theme for this year’s celebration
-‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for
Gender Equality’, was appropriate
and timely in an era where woman
were being acknowledged and given
equal opportunities with their male
counterparts.
“Women should be given equal
opportunities in their endeavours and
the society; they want to contribute their
quota without any discrimination based
on gender. We also want emphasis laid
on poverty reduction for women; by
making women self-reliant, poverty
is reduced to the barest minimum by
2030,’’ she said. She also called on
women in the state to support the APC
government at all levels further assuring
them that they would not let them down.
In her remarks, Mrs. Rufina
Gurumyen, the Commissioner for
Women Affairs, said that the inclusion of
entrepreneurship training as part of the
International Women’s Day activities
on the Plateau was to give women the
opportunity to learn the rudiments
of being self-reliant. “It is only when
women are self-reliant that they could
manage the on-going economic meltdown
that appears to be a global issue,’’
she said.
She said that the participating women
who are selected from the grass root were
expected to replicate the programme in
their rural women communities across
the 17 Local Governments.
Mrs. Sewuese Suwa, the representative
of the United Nations, in her remarks,
expressed concern that women
accounted for 60 per cent of the world’s
illiterate people. She regretted that
Plateau had only one female lawmaker
in its 24-member House of Assembly
and urged Governor Lalong to appoint
more women into leadership positions.

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