Kwara: The electricity trip

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By Ibraheem Abdullateeef

Good things are really happening. And many more will still happen. This is as the Kwara Government builds on its achievements in the power sector in the last one year with the provision and installation of more transformers for Kwara communities. It is part of the signature rural-community intervention of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, which will etch his name in sands of time.

Schools. Health centres. Roads. Social investment and so on were the many things speaking to AbdulRazaq’s awesomeness, which will ennoble his legacy and cement his name as a great leader. And now, he is adding again the electrification of some communities which I feel has garnered little attention. The project will eventually cut across the state.

The supply and installation of 20 units all-in-one solar street lights at Ipata Market, Ilorin, supply and the installation of another 20 all-in-one solar street lights at Ipata-Oloje Market, Ilorin, procurement and installation of 1 No. 300KVA, 11/0.415KV transformer at Oyatedo Town, Oro-Ago Kingdom, procurement and Installation of 1 No. 300KVA, 11/0.415KV at Oganyin Town, Oro-Ago Kingdom, Ifelodun LGA are worthy of a mention.

Procurement and installation of another 500KVA 33.0.415KV at Temidire, Obanisuwa communities, procurement and installation of 2 units of 500KVA transformer for Share Water Works and Intelligence College Share, and replacement of a faulty transformer at Igbaja Water Works, Igbaja. Aside from this particular one’s role of powering the provision of water for the surrounding communities, I remember it gave the respected Community Health expert, Elder Oyin-Zubair enormous joy that the government quickly fixed it. The old man can see and feel the change.

They include the completion of the abandoned electrification works which extend to Banisula and Iwonte Communities before the district electrification projects at Kanmonu, Alayin, Ajegunle, Kafinta, and Pandoro communities in Offa LGA. It also captured the powering Suuru Village along the Ilesha Baruba – and Gwanara High Tension network in Baruten LGA.

The long list of purchase and installation of transformers comprise the 5OOKVA by 33/0.415KV at Oke-Foma Community in Ilorin West LGA, procurement of 500KVA, 330.415KV transformer for Kemanji community in Kaiama LGA, purchase and installation of 300KVA, 33/0. 415 KVA at Shirigweria also in Kaiama, procurement, and installation of 500KVA 33/0.415kv at Ora-Ayoka Community Ilofa Road, Omu-Aran, procurement and installation of 300KVA, 33/0.415kv at Liberty Water, along Fire service Road Omu-Aran to mention but a few.

While I battle to keep this piece as short as possible, some procurement and installations like those of 500KVA transformer at Ita-Amodu/Niger Junction, Ilorin, electrification of Gaa Oke, Share in Ifelodun LGA, procurement, and installation of 500KVA, 33/0.415KV at Obansunwa, Egbejila Road Airport Area, Ilorin West LGA, installation of a 500KVA transformer at Sobi Specialist Hospital, Ilorin, installation of a 33KVA 11/0.415kv transformer at Aleniboro-Agbede Community, Tanke Oke Odo, and the restoration of electricity back to Oke-Ode and adjoining communities in Ifelodun LGA must feature because they have interesting stories.

The latest in my series of travelings across Kwara made me aware of a village called ShiriGweria in Kiama, which had no light for four years before this government came. The village head, Alhaji Musa Hamidu Jeziyoma recounted their ordeals with the darkness and I felt the narrative was worth poetry: Wilderness; if he were a poet. But it was no fun for the man to see his people entrapped in the torturous hands of darkness for years. The sigh of relief by the people of Oke-Ode may however be heavier by the time the installation of the transformer given them is completed. They suffered the same fate as the ShiriGweria and would also smile as they did soonest.

If these places were not electrified and left as they were, the drive for rural development and an improved revenue generation would remain a mirage. Access to water and electricity has a substantial effect on the ease of doing business and trading. The Rural Electrification Project has among the core objectives the mandate to make power accessible for all for commerce and security purposes. I was particularly impressed to hear people praying for His Excellency for not leaving them to their dreary fate. And some people are still asking for change when it is as clear as the sun in the daylight and as bright as the star in the night.

The benefits of the project may be gradual but they are inestimable for sustainable development. Beneficiary communities will become attractive to various kinds of investment, more habitable and safer for residents especially children and women, and also encouraging for artisans like the welders, hair stylists, etc to practice their handiwork.

Like I realised during the trip, many skillful young persons abandoned their crafts for commercial driving due to hardship posed by power outage. Governor AbdulRazaq’s Rural Electrification Project is reconciling some with their beloved handiworks and making it more profitable with the provision of transformers in their localities.

Close to a hundred communities with thousands of Kwarans have started enjoying power supply today, and more would be captured before the year runs out. Kwara may eventually top the list of the most economically viable states which she was adjudged third a few days ago as access to electricity boosts productivity and jerk up revenue generation. Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s stride will remain a landmark in Nigeria by the four years’ time. You may count already schools, roads, health centres, social investment, tractorization, and many more.

Yet the more you travel the state, the best you see change in naked form. Good things are happening and there are still many more to come.

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