Even though the gas turbine owned by the Bayelsa State government is no more generating power supply for the people, the state can still enjoy uninterrupted power supply, if alternative power generating sources are explored, taking advantage of the 1.5 million standard cubic feet of gas produced daily in the state, according to the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote.
Wabote gave the indication during a meeting with the state governor, Senator Douye Diri, where a power sharing agreement was signed, on Wednesday. the NCDMB currently operates a 10-megawatt gas-powered independent plant located at Elebele in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
It is at the same Ogbia that the state government owned gas turbine is located but it has become almost useless, despite funds spent by the government to make it work. It used to be a steady source of power supply the the people, although the people were not comfortable with payment of bills for electricity generated from the turbine.
TNN learnt that only recently, there were moves by some investors to inject funds into the turbine to bring it back to life but some officials in the government were said to have insisted on getting kick back from the firms before they could fast-track the processes and get the investors to hit the ground running.
But the NCDMB’s power project is now becoming attractive to the same government and they want the Board to begin the power supply from the Government House. It is not clear, however, how much the state government would be paying to the NCDMB to enjoy the uninterrupted supply to the seat of power in the state.
It is also not clear if the government would also want to extend supply to all parts of the state, just as it is not certain what the government plans to do with its own turbine. But a statement from the governor’s chief press secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah quoted the governor as saying that the huge gas resources of the state was under-utilised.
The governor also called on private investors to explore the abundance of natural gas in the state, saying the government was ready to partner with such investors to make power and other amenities available to the people. He also called for the metering of power consumers so as end estimated billing and make payment of bills easier and more acceptable by people of the state.
His words: “My administration is committed to providing power to people of the state. One of the first creations of God was light. So, we are delighted to talk about power.
“We have taken bold steps and today is one of the manifestations with this agreement. I call on private investors to explore the abundance of gas resources in the state. We are ready to partner with them. My administration is poised to provide power to light up Bayelsa State.
“I commend my brother, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, for his sagacity and commitment to impact on the environment of his organisation.Let me also appreciate the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, and other partners that made this possible. We must pay for power. Even in Freetown, nothing is free.”