The Member of Parliament (MP) for Krachi Nchumuru, Hon Solomon Kuyon has called on the government through the Ministry of Energy to complete abandoned Rural Electrification Projects in the area to boost the local economy.
According to him, the electrification projects under the Self Help Electrification Program (SHEP) for 14 rural communities in the constituency have been abandoned, thereby affecting local economic activities.
He said the electrification projects when complete would help shore up the rural economy as more business activities would flourish, while security visibility increased to reduce crime.
Hon Kuyon made the call when he dragged the Minister for Energy to Parliament over some abandoned rural electrification projects in some of the communities in the constituency.
He asked the Minister two separate questions regarding the absence of power supply in the communities.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Energy when the following communities in the Krachi Nchumuru Constituency will be connected to the National Grid of rural electrification: (i) Nandi Junction (ii)Ngawei (iii) Dua Kase (iv) Gyatso Chayo (v) Papaye (vi) Motoka No.1&2 (vii) Dodokope and (vii) Elindo.”
He also asked the Minister when the rural electrification project that began in 2016 in Lonkortor , Beposo, Kaliaku, Bichori, Kaprae, Konado and Morikope communities would be completed.
In response, a Deputy Minister of Energy, Hon Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer said the communities namely Gyato Chayo and Papaye formed part of the Ministry of Energy’s on-going SHEP-4 Rural Electrification Project in the Krachi Nchumuru District of the Oti Region.
According to him, some High Voltage (HV) network have passed through Gyato Chayo community and requires only Low Voltage (LV), Transformer substation and Customer service connection work to connect the community to the grid.
He added that some 39 of the Low Voltage (LV) poles required have been supplied with 21 planted, whereas the pole top materials/equipment required for the LV network construction are yet to be released to the contractor.
The Deputy Minister attributed the delays in the execution of the electrification project at Papaye and Gyato Chayo communities to a result of shortage of some key materials/equipment including transformers, and conductors, among others.
Nevertheless, Mr. Mercer said the Ministry is expecting deliveries of materials/equipment and would arrange for the release of same for installation works to resume at the site, confirming that “the Ministry expects to complete the installation works in the above-mentioned communities by the end of 2022.”
The remaining communities namely, Nandi Junction, Ngawei, Dua Kase, Motoka No. 1& 2, Dodokope, and Elindo, the Deputy Minister said “do not form part of the Ministry’s projects.”
He assured that the communities have been noted and would be considered for connection to the National Electricity Grid in subsequent phases of the electrification program.
Touching on the other communities whose work has been stalled since 2016, Mr. Mercer confirmed the Lonkortor, Beposo, Kaliaku, Bichori and Konado communities formed part of the Ministry’s on-going SHEP rural electrification project.
He said High Voltage (HV) and Low Voltage (LV) network construction works have been completed in the communities, but the outstanding works are Customer service installation works.
“Mr. Speaker, the Ministry is expecting a List of register customers from the utility, Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) following which meters will be issued to Konado contractor for installation,” he explained to parliament.
He further explained that completion of works in the Kaprae community has been delayed as a result of a shortage of some critical materials/equipment including conductor transformers, etc.
The Ministry, Mr. Mercer said is expecting deliveries of some materials/equipment and will arrange for the release of same for installation works to resume at the site, adding that the Ministry expects to complete the installation works in Kaprae by the end of 2022.
He noted that the Morikope community does not form part of any of the Ministry’s ongoing electrification projects, but has been noted and will be considered for connection to the national electricity grid in the subsequent phases of the electrification programme.
But Hon Kuyon said, despite the national penetration of electricity supply to at about 86.24 percent, many rural communities, including over 20 farming communities within his constituency still not connected to the national grid.
He said that the absence of electricity in the communities denies the residents the entitlement to enjoy lights like others in parts of the country and affects economic activities.
In his considered view, the supply of power would help boost the local economy, as many traders would have the opportunity to trade into the evening, and more cold stores and drinking spots operate competitively.
In addition to that, Hon Kuyon said the supply of electricity would improve the standard of education as schools and students would have a chance to study at night which would alternately improve students and pupil performance.
He added that, besides the direct benefits of electricity to the residents, the government would also rake in revenue out of the local economic boom and other activities.
Further, he noted the security situation in the communities would be improved as a result of the lightening of the communities to ward off suspecting criminals who hide in darkness to launch their activities on residents at night.
While vowing to pursue the project with intensified lobbies to the government for the rural electrification project in the communities, the MP urged the residents to remain peaceful co-existent.
He said the effort he is making to ensure that they receive their fair share of the national development cake would become useless if there is no peace among the constituents.
He reaffirmed his commitment to work hard to bring the needed development to the entire constituency to justify the confidence reposed in him in December 2020, elections.
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