The Enugu State Government has distributed twenty-one electric transformers of various capacities worth millions of naira to some communities and parts of the state capital under its rural electrification programme.
The benefiting communities are Ozom Aguobu Owa, Akama Oghe, Agu Ibeje, Okata Nkpamute, Orba, Nkpunano, Umuawalagu Nara, Obe Agbo, Edem Nike and Eziama Agbogugu.
Others are Uwani Amokwe, Amadim Amugwu, Ikeghe Okpatu, Enugu Achi, Umuoma Agbada Inyi, Ugwuleshi Agwu, GRA I and GRA II, Unity Layout, Police Community and Central Police Station (CPS), Enugu.
Speaking at a brief ceremony at the Government House Enugu before the handing over of the transformers, the state Acting Governor, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi represented by the Commissioner for Rural Development, Dr. Eric Oluedo said that the gesture was in keeping with the administration of Governor Chime to electrify all communities in the state that are without electricity.
The Acting Governor explained that at the inception of the administration, about 119 communities in the state were connected to the National grid, adding that work is ongoing in twenty-four others while the remaining 37 communities would be connected later.
Mr. Onyebuchi further stated that provisions have been made in this year’s budget to provide electricity to more communities in the state, especially the 37 remaining communities to be linked up to the national grid before the end 2013.
He went further to explain that as the extension of the electricity to the rural communities was ongoing, government decided to replace the transformers in some communities that were no longer functional.
Onyebuchi, however, advised the benefiting communites to guard the transformers jealously against any form of vandalisation, theft or bush burning as government would not be in a haste to replace any one lost or damaged as a result of carelessness on the part of people of the community concerned.
In his speech, the General Manager of the State Rural Electrification Board, Mr. Simon Atigwe said that with the arrangements already on ground, no community in the state would be left out in the electricity project.
Mr. Atigwe also stated that the criteria for benefiting in the replacement exercise was based on the report of the team that visited every community (VEC) in parts of the state in addition to the priority needs of the various communities.
Also in their separate speeches, some representatives of the benefiting communities, Hon Cecilia Ezilo of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Obrien Ofordu, Mr. James Ugwoke and Mr. Dons Ude expressed gratitude to the state government for the kind gesture which they described as one of the best Christmas gift to their people.
They also reasoned that the transformers would help transform their areas and promised to protect them against vandalisation.