Governor Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State has charged the citizens of the state to protect all public utilities in their domains to safeguard government infrastructure from being destroyed.

All Nigeria Latest News reports that Oyebanji also said his government would not tolerate the idea of towns being left in perpetual power outage for a period of 15 years, describing this as a potential danger that could cripple businesses and shore up the poverty level in the state.

The governor spoke in Ikogosi Ekiti, while commissioning the extension of the 132/133KVA power substation from Omisanjana in Ado Ekiti to reconnect the town back to the national grid after years of power outage.

Governor Oyebanji said the 33KV electrification project , which covers 19km radius and stretched from 132 KV TCN Sub-Station at Omisanjana to connect Erijiyan and Ikogosi-Ekiti needed protection to spur business activities along that axis.

“I wish to urge our people to see all public infrastructure within their communities as their property and to jealously guard and protect them from vandalisation. They must also be prepared to pay for electricity usage,” he pleaded.

The governor, who described electricity supply as an impetus and a major boost to the growth of SMEs, said this view accounted for why the government placed high premium on reconnection of towns experiencing lingering power outage across the state.

Oyebanji lamented that a town housing one of the state’s business concerns was without power supply for years, saying connecting the town back to the national grid would boost the water bottling company as well as the tourism potentials of the area.

“For us, electricity is a critical infrastructure in our Ekiti development agenda. It is indeed, the circulatory artery upon which the Ekiti industrial agenda can be kept alive. Without power any talk of industrialisation remains an empty wish, it is for this reason that we made it a major priority in our Six Pillars of Administration.

“When we came on board, the power infrastructure audit of the State indicated that many communities had been without electricity for many years, ranging from 6-15 years. We also noticed that a critical factor that had bedeviled Ikogosi Warm Spring and Resorts and the Gossy Bottling Company was the absence of sustainable power supply and without connecting these facilities to the national grid, it would remain a mere pipe dream and the venture unprofitable.

“In our bid to find a lasting solution, it was observed that there was a 140MVA transformer at the 132KV TCN Sub-Station at Omisanjana, Ado Ekiti out of which only 80MVA transformer was being utilised while 60MVA transformer was underutilized due to lack of a corridor to evacuate the energy to.”

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