By Simeon OSAJIE
Engr. Morrison Ogbewi Eghobamien firmly believes that addressing the critical issue affecting the Edo State is the only sure way the people will feel the dividend of democracy.
Governance is about the people, providing the necessary infrastructures like good roads, functional health system, good educational system/skills acquisition, agriculture (food security), security, and all the infrastructure that will make the state work once again for the benefit of the good people of Edo State.
The recognition that reliable electricity is a fundamental enabler for economic growth and job creation is a testament to his foresight. Edo State has grappled with inadequate power generation, infrastructure deficiencies, vandalism, and high tariffs like many regions.
In a chat with journalists, Engr Morrison Ogbewi Eghobamien gave more insight on what to expect to put a smile once more on the faces of the people of Edo State, placing more emphasis on electricity, which he says will drive the economy and youth unemployment.
He noted that one of the central pillars of his vision is addressing the persistent electricity challenges that have plagued the state.
Support and his nomination will mark the commencement of immediate efforts to rectify the persistent electricity challenges that have plagued the state for an extended period.
He noted that his strategy will involve increasing capacity and resolving distribution issues to ensure that every resident in Edo state has access to reliable electricity.
Another critical issue he seeks to address is youth unemployment through skill acquisition programmes.
The bane of the problem is mainly due to the lack of skills and adequate training opportunities. Empowering the youth with essential skills provides them with the tools for self-employment and contributes to the state’s overall economic growth.
By creating opportunities for young men and women to thrive in their careers, he is addressing the issue of unemployment and fostering a more vibrant and skilled workforce for the state, leading to economic growth.
Edo State, like many parts of Nigeria, faced several electricity-related challenges. Some prominent issues included:
Inadequate Power Generation: A significant problem in Edo State is the insufficient power generation capacity. The state often experienced power outages and blackouts due to the lack of electricity supply.
Infrastructure Deficiencies: Aging and poorly maintained electricity infrastructure, including power plants, transmission lines, and distribution networks, contributed to the inconsistency in power supply. Vandalism, Theft, and Sabotage of electricity infrastructure, such as cables and transformers, are common problems. These criminal activities disrupt power distribution and increase operational costs for electricity providers.
Illegal Connections: Many residents resorted to illegal connections due to the unreliable power supply. These unauthorised connections not only strained the grid but also posed safety hazards.
High Tariffs: The cost of electricity in Nigeria, including Edo State, is often high relative to the quality of service. This high cost burdened consumers, especially in the face of inconsistent power supply.
Lack of Investment: Inadequate investment in the power sector contributed to the challenges. The state requires infrastructure, technology, and human resources investments to improve the electricity supply.
Policy and Regulatory Issues: Inefficiencies in the regulatory framework and policy implementation also contributed to the electricity problems. These issues affected the ability to attract private investments in the sector. The critical issues concerning energy provision have stagnated the economy; small businesses such as welders, cold water sellers, fish sellers for their cold rooms, and ice cream men all need constant power supply to power their businesses to strive.
On a much larger scale, companies and industries in the production line also need it for their businesses to keep afloat. Many companies have gone under due to lack of power and people becoming unemployed in the long run.
Engr Morrison Ogbewi Eghobamien has a shared passion for putting a smile on the faces of the Edo people by ensuring that the people finally have access to electricity.
As 2024 approaches, his vision and commitment to the people of Edo State will undoubtedly resonate with many, offering a promising path towards a brighter future for the state and its citizens.