Ondo State government has flagged off the Ugbonla solar mini-grid power project under the phase 1 of the Ondo State Electricity Improvement and Access Scheme.
The construction of the hybrid solar mini-grid power plant is aimed at solving power problem of Ugbonla town in Ilaje local government area of the state.
Represented by the Special Adviser on Public Utilities, Engr Tunji Ariyomo, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu noted that his administration embarked on the Coastal Off grid Energy Access programme to ameliorate the suffering of the people in the southern senatorial district who were either never connected to or have simply been cut off from the national grid for several years.
Ariyomo called on the people of Ugbonla to join hands with the administration to make the project a success.
According to him, fishermen and fish sellers can now look forward to using electricity powered coldroom and kiln to preserve or dry their fish which is safer for consumption and healthy living.
He said: “Governor Akeredolu has affirmed that his administration will relentlessly pursue all legitimate activities to ensure the issue of power supply to our people and businesses remains a top priority.
“That’s why the state has been vigorously engaging private investors to partner with it in generating power for some off grid clusters in the state.
“We have done similar projects at Aboto, Igbobini, Gbagira, Ebute Ipare and the Gari processing SME cluster near Igbatoro in Akure North local government.
“We know the mighty importance of electricity in these isolated communities in Ondo South and how this had negatively affected productivity.
“In the communities that we have completed, pupils and students in those communities can now study at night and this is greatly impacting their academic performances.
“So, our people in Ugbonla will likewise experience many such positive impacts on their businesses and improved social life.
“It is our target that Mr. Governor will be able to commission this project in the next two months as the power service provider would have completed the project by then.”
The Special Adviser subsequently charged the people to guard the equipment as their personal property by preventing vandals form having access to them.
In his address, the MD of the power company, Mr. Ayo Ademilua, assured the people that the Phase I of the project would be ready in August for use in the community.
He explained that after the Phase I, the Phase II would commence after estimating the real-time power consumed by the town with a view to scaling up the wattage.
The traditional and spiritual head of the town, the Imperial King of Zion, Oba (Dr.) Mobolorunduro Ogunfeyimi (JP), Atarioye Ajigbade Lene II, assured the Governor of the cooperation of the community.
He said the community gave the landed property being used by the power company for its facilities free.
According to the monarch, in an effort to assure security for the power facilities, he has approached the head of the Naval base, L. S Umaru (D) which is close to the facilities for assistance.
He further assured the power company of the readiness of his people to pay for power consumed as at when due.
The royal father also thanked Ariyomo for keeping his word on the mini-grid project for Ugbonla and commended the governor for his ability to identify capable hands for critical sectors.