Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has said the multi-billion naira Independent Power Plant (IPP) project in Oghara will gulp much more money before it can come on stream.
The Governor who had a town hall meeting with the people of Ethiope West and Sapele local government areas in Oghara and Sapele respectively, stated that adequate power supply was required to boost the socio-economic life of the people.
Specifically, at Oghara where the former Governor of the state, Chief James Ibori led cream of politicians to attend the meeting, Governor Okowa disclosed that with the economic realities of the country, it would be difficult for the state to solely sponsor the IPP project.
“We have to study the project, if I tell you that it will be functional during my administration, I will be telling you lies, a lot have been done, but, we have done the calculation but, it is obvious that we cannot execute the project as a state for now because, the project will gulp over N200 billion.” he said.
Continuing, he said, “there are two options, either we enter into private partnership with the private sector or to outrightly, sell the IPP to the private sector so that it can make the project functional, so as to create jobs for our people and other benefits derivable.”
The Governor also, used the occasion to clarify issues concerning funding in the state, asserting that with the country, officially in recession, revenue to the Federal Government and other tiers of government was affected.
“We will continue to do the best we can even with the challenging times and we will continue to remain focused,” the Governor said.
At Sapele, Governor Okowa who was accompanied to all the events by his Deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro and other top government functionaries commended Deltans for their peaceful ways of resolving issues, observing that the protest by the people of Sapele against epileptic power supply was peaceful.
While listing projects executed by his administration in the area which included construction of roads, schools, markets, and others, the Governor expressed joy that since his coming on board two years ago, the Songhai Delta has becoming functional as training ground for the training of youths in different fields of life, especially agriculture.
“I can rightfully claim that i am from Okpe and Saoele local government, I want to thank you for coming out in your large numbers to attend this town hall meeting which will provide the opportunity to tell you what we are doing and the prospect we have for the future and also, listen to you to enable us add your needs in our budget; we are encouraging participatory democracy which I think we should have,” he said, adding, “I was happy with what I saw at the Songhai Training centre; in the past two years, that centre has been very active and yesterday, I saw a new system of farming, not new to the world but, new to us, the drip irrigation which is the first in our state; it will help to grow tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables and with the drip irrigation system, tomatoes will be grown at least three cycles in one year.”
“So many of our youths have been engaged already in our empowerment programmes and we are happy that our youths are also acquiring new skills through the revamped technical colleges in the state,” he reiterated.
The Governor assured that the Sapele market and other project’s would come on stream in the cause of the year.