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Akwa Ibom Where Darkness Represents Light – By Essien Ndueso

In Akwa Ibom local parlance, Ekim means darkness. And any reference linking or connecting someone with the word ‘Ekim’, means that the person is darkness personified or is from the darkness world. In local churches, especially ‘holy spirit-manifesting’ churches, the vast of prayers are usually channeled towards the destruction of ‘Nka Ekim’ (Darkness Group) from where every spiritual problem emanates.

The advent of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration in 2015 and his resolve to turn things around means that ‘Ekim’ now stands for exactly the opposite of what it means. In his commitment towards ensuring adequate power supply as a major industrialization catalyst, Governor Udom Emmanuel on 27th July, 2016, performed the ground breaking ceremony for a 2 x 60 KVA transmission power sub-station in Ekim, Mkpat Enin Local Government Area. The power sub-station lying on a large land mass of 3.11 acres with secured perimeter fencing is accommodating two 132 x 33 KVA transmitters. Already the first transmitter has been put in place set to commence power transmission.

The Ekim power sub-station is to feed 5 local government areas; Mkpat Enin, Onna, Ikot Abasi, Eastern Obolo and Oruk Anam. The power station is also strategically located to service Akwa Ibom State University, the Syringe and electricity metering factories, the upcoming coconut refinery, the Naval Technical College at Ekparakwa in Oruk Anam and the soon to be ongoing flour mill plant. With the power station fully in operation, the people living within the target communities will not only benefit from constant power supply, but the numerous values chain opportunities derivable from constant power supply. Already, the Ikot Abasi Jetty and Industrial Park Project as well as fertilizer and petroleum plants are in the works and the promise of 24hours power supply means that the investors in these projects will have their confidences boosted.

The 2 by 60MV plants mega power station at Ekim is meant to transmit 50 megawatts of power capable of feeding more than the five listed local government areas for 24 hours.

As the governor assured recently, the only reason there could be power supply outage in the affected areas, is the shortage of gas supply to the power plant in Ikot Abasi.

This power sector revolution is aimed at ensuring that the industrial belt of the state is well energized for optimal industrial activities.

The project directors at the Ekim Sub –station gave details of the projects, he thanked the State for taking up the responsibility to provide uninterrupted power supply at a very low cost for the people.

Daniel Obot and Uduak Nkanga are workers on the Ekim Substation project location and revealed that this project would not just provide adequate power supply but would go a long way to provide job opportunities.

The power sub- station at the Ibom International Airport is to feed the entire airport and its adjourning areas, with over twenty-two 315KVA, 11KV package sub-station all over the airport.

At the airport the Engrs Shafe and Kalu lamented that the airport before this period, relied solely on its generator which is not reliable and cuts deeps into its operational cost. They lauded the Governor on the Vision as the power sub-station was 100% reliable:

Earlier in June this year, Governor Udom Emmanuel had completed a 33 by 11KV electricity injection sub-station with an assurance that his vision of industrializing Akwa Ibom state was on course.

In the Governor’s words, the decision to put Akwa Ibom State in full industrializationis not complete  in an environment of poor power  supply.

Mr. Emmanuel said his administration started by restoring power in some parts of Ini and Okobo local government areas where there was no light for several years, and added that Ikot Abasi which main town will soon be visited with light.

He said the power station in Uyo was his efforts at improving power supply in the state capital, maintaining that people in the area connected to the line have already attested to the longer periods of power supply every day.

The Governor said that the second power station located at Ekim in Mkpat Enin will be commissioned in few weeks and will enable the stability of power supply  in five local government areas.

As the state awaits the visit of the Vice President of the Country, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo during the 30th anniversary celebration to commission this project among others, it has generally become obvious that the State under the leadership of Mr Udom Emmanuel is on course towards total industrialization in line with the cardinal promise of job and wealth creation as well as poverty alleviation. Even in the beginning God realized the essence of light in the Universe and started the creation story with, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And in the case of Akwa Ibom, the light comes from ‘darkness’.


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