Not a few residents of Billiri Local Government Area of Gombe State are optimistic of a brighter and rewarding new year following the inauguration of two 33kv electricity feeder to boost power supply in the state.
Impressed by the gesture as extended by the Jos Electricity Distribution Company,the residents who spoke with Arewa PUNCH
say they are optimistic that the perennial black out and power outages frequently experienced as a result of lack of feeder in the area will be a thing of the past.
Speaking with Arewa PUNCH on the benefits of the installation, Mustapha Hassan, a welder in the Kaltungo
area said the perennial low electricity current in the area, which
had sent businesses packing would be mitigated.
Hassan stated, “Previously, we suffered from low current. Electrical appliances were always damaged because of the absence of these feeders in the areas. But, with this inauguration, things will get better for some of us who are artisans.”
On her part, Keziah Yusuf, who operates a hair styling salon, also told Arewa PUNCH that hopeful, she will no longer share her profits with the cost of maintenance. “There is no doubt it will boost my economic situation. I spend a lot on servicing generators, including the fueling, but with the installation of the power feeder, we are going to get a regular power supply. You know how expensive it is to run generators to power electrical equipment, which oftentimes burns the components of the appliances.”
The Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Yahaya, lauded the efforts of both JED and TCN in illuminating rural communities in the state.
Yahaya who was represented by the Commissioner for Energy and Minerals Resources Sanusi Pindiga, stressed, “this will support the development drive of our administration as more businesses will be better enhanced to survive and contribute to growth of the state.”
During the inauguration of the feeders, the Managing Director of JED, Abdu Mohammed, said the initiative would rid Billiri, Kaltungo, Shongom, and Kumo off the epileptic power supply being experienced.
According to him, “No doubt, it was an open secret known to all that the Billiri, Kaltungo and its neighbourhood had experienced poor power supply. And so the stabilisation of energy in the areas as a result of the construction of the substation and the two 33kv feeders will boost not only the economic development of the people but would greatly enhance their social life.”
Mohammed urged the state government to take advantage of the feeder installation by establishing businesses within and around the areas.
“The government can establish business clusters around here which will promote industrial and socio-economic growth of the aforementioned communities, create job opportunities for the teeming population as well as increase revenue for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry,” the JED boss advised.
He further solicited the protection of the facilities by the beneficiary and immediate communities, stressing that they should equally endeavour to pay utility bills as and when due to encourage proper maintenance.
“I want to call on all the benefiting communities to endeavour to protect these facilities and others located in your environments. You should take ownership of all the electricity installations in your domain. We should not look at the project as belonging to the Transmission Company of Nigeria or that of the Jos Electricity Distribution Plc and, therefore, look the other way when miscreants, hoodlums and other predators are decapitating them. They are your property. You should guard them jealously.
“You must take cognisance of the many years that you have grappled with either poor or lack of electricity supply in this area before this intervention that brought succour and happiness to us.
“At this juncture, it is instructive to inform you that electricity has been privatised and commercialised, and therefore, it is no more a free commodity. For you to enjoy electricity, you must be able to pay for your consumed energy. That is the only way we can continue to serve you. The energy we distribute to you is procured at a huge cost,” Mohammed reminded.
On her part, the overseer of the Billiri Local Government Area, Hauwa Ibrahim, promised to sensitise residents on bill payment, adding, “I wish to appeal for the distribution of prepaid metres to users.”
Also speaking, the Mai Kaltungo, Engineer Saleh Mohammed, commended the inauguration of the feeders, insisting they would impact positively on businesses.