By Rekpene Uket
In line with the State Executive Council’s approval of 100% electricity coverage as well as His Excellency Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade’s passion to ensure zero tolerance to darkness across the State. The State Electrification Agency (SEA) has recently opened Financial Bids for the procurement of electrification projects across the State.
The Agency which was established by Law No. 18 of 2007 with specific mandate to generate, distribute, repair, maintain and extend power supply from National Grid to all communities in Cross River State has left no stone unturned in the fulfillment of its mandate.
Speaking during the Bids Opening exercise, the Director General of the Agency, Rt. Hon. Dr. Jake Otu Enyia, highlighted some of the modest achievements of the Agency since the inception of Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade’s Administration to include: Procurement of 187 electrification distribution transformers, carried out survey of the status of electricity infrastructure in the 18 Local Government Areas of the State and maintaining a data bank of same, completed and commissioned electricity projects in Imaje.
Ekprinyi in Yala Local Government Area, extension of electricity to St. Stephen’s Primary School in Obudu, carried out direct intervention to more than 30 communities in the provision of electricity materials worth N30m, Rehabilitation of Agwagune electrification network, working in collaboration with German International Development Corporation (GIZ) and Nigeria Energy Support Programme (NESP) to supply electricity to Umon Island in Biase Local Government Area (Renewable Energy/Solar Electricity with CRSG providing N11m counterpart fund. 66 other communities have been selected for similar intervention, enhanced relationship and constant monitoring of the activities of PHEDC in Cross River State which has necessitated the radical improvement in power supply condition in the State.
Dr. Enyia maintained that contracts have been awarded to the following communities: Ipong in Obudu Local Government Area comprising Kakum, Bebuatsuan, Bebuabee, Begiatte in Obanliku Local Government Area, Ubang Communities, Ukpah Communities, Electrification of Ogboja/Ndok communities, Woleche Ebo Communities as well as rehabilitation of Boje electrification Network from Nsadop-Onitsha Farm amongst others.
The Director General also stated that the essence of the Bid opening exercise was to further demonstrate this administration’s stance on due process, transparency and accountability, noting that electricity contracts are highly technical and therefore requires professionalism and adherence to industry bench mark on performance standards, hence, being the highest or lowest bidder may not constitute an absolute basis for award. Rather, professionalism, technical and industry competence is mandatory to pass the test. He therefore urged those who would emerge preferred bidders to perform according to specifications while those who may not be preferred should keep faith with God and the government of the State, adding that the future is greater than the present.
In his remarks, the Director Due Process and Price Intelligence Bureau, who was represented by the Director Administration, Mr. John Ubleble expressed delight and satisfaction at the level of fair play and transparency displayed by the State Electrification Agency adding that, this was worthy of emulation by other MDAs.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser, Civil Society Organization, Mr. Emmanuel Anoh, who was represented by Mr. Emmanuel Akunobor, observed that the exercise was fair, transparent and well coordinated. He therefore commended the management of the Agency.
Speaking on behalf of the contractors, Engr. Benson Ogban and Engr. A. Ade, commended the State Government for the high level of transparency and accountability displayed at the exercise and urged other States to take a clue from Cross River State.