With huge gas deposits, state wallows in power lack
Ranks among financially insolvent states
Bayelsa State government has entered into a purchase agreement with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to ensure regular power supply to the Government House complex in Yenagoa and environs.
NCDMB operates a 10-megawatt gas-powered independent plant located at Elebele in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.
The agreement was signed inside the executive council chambers of the Government House, Yenagoa, with Governor Douye Diri describing power as crucial to the development of any society.
He noted that the state was blessed with abundant gas resources, which had been largely under-utilised.
The state is rich in oil and gas resources, receiving a large haul of the federation accounts (FAAC), but ironically ranks among the eight poorest states in Nigeria, with very low internally generated revenue (IGR) collection, described as financially insolvent.
In 2020, the state received a total of N152.54 billion FAAC envelope, but it was only able to record N12.18 billion IGR accretion, which measured as a percentage against the FAAC haul translated to 8.0 percent.
For several years, the state has been unable to tap into the $20 billion Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project which was in the doldrums, but was reactivated by the federal government recently. Completion of the multi-billion-dollar gas plant isn’t near yet.
Governor Diri underlined that his administration was determined to use the resources of the state for the benefit of the people, stating that the importance of power cannot be overemphasized, as it has the capacity to improve the economic fortunes of any society.
The Bayelsa governor appreciated the NCDMB management and other partners that made the agreement possible, saying it was a sign of good things to come.
He 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 asked for metering of power consumers in the state, so as to end the issue of estimated billing, and make payment of bills easier and more acceptable by people of the state. He said his administration was committed to providing power to people to light up Bayelsa State.
The Bayelsa governor lauded the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and other partners that made the power purchase agreement possible, assuring that the state was ready to pay for power.
The NCDMB executive secretary, Simbi Wabote said the event marked the formal execution of the power purchase project, describing the agreement as a major milestone given the importance of power to the government and the state at large.
Wabote noted that with the agreement, it is clear the state can enjoy uninterrupted power supply given its huge gas deposits.
He said Bayelsa has the capacity to produce 1.5 million standard cubic feet of gas daily, as the state perhaps, has the highest gas deposit in the country.
Frontpage September 4, 2018