Since inception, the Ibom power plant has been plagued by a myriad of challenges until recently when the management and staff of the company had cause to celebrate. The plant has produced for 114 days without forced outage. The following are excerpts from the MD’s interview with Journalists during the occasion:

Story Highlights
  • The plant was constantly nonoperational last year
  • This year it has been operational for 114 days non stop
  • We have built capacity to ensure this feat is sustained

Congratulations you just celebrated 100 days without forced outage. What does this mean to you?

Thank you very much. First, let me thank His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the leader of our State, the superior performer as we call him, for giving us the opportunity, as Akwa Ibom people, to turn this Company around. What we are celebrating today is about a hundred and fourteen (114) days of what we call continuous operation without forced outage.  A year ago, the plant hardly ran for some days or even a week without outage. Therefore, to have it running for 114 days without forced outage is something we are very grateful to God for.

When you have feats like this there must be lots of underlined things behind that brought this to the fore, what were the things that you did that enabled this to happen?

When His Excellency sent me to Ibom Power Company, there were three things that he expected me to do; one was to make sure the plant is stabilized because it was always down due to one problem or the other.  When I came in, the first thing I did was to make sure the employees are well taken care of because they were owed. I came in and made sure that those debts were paid. I boosted their morale, made them happy; made them feel good. Thereafter, we made sure that the immediate technical and commercial activities that needed to be done in the plant were implemented to minimize forced outages.

The second thing that His Excellency expected me to do was to build capacity because he is very strong in capacity building. What we did was to encourage people that would have been pulledby other power plants to stay with us by giving them reasonable incentives. We also instituted an apprenticeship and internship program as capacity ‘pipeline’ to train potential replacement s.

The third thing His Excellency expected me to do was to implement good Corporate Governance. To make sure that the company is run as a corporation, not as a parastatal, ministry, or a project. We implemented good corporate governance. We are not a parastatal and we are not a ministry; we are running as a business. We set clear performance goals. We developed a business plan and got the employees to understand the goals. We track these metrics on a monthly basis and share with the employees.

How do you see the impact of power supply on the industrialization policy of Udom Emmanuel’s administration?

Without electricity you cannot industrialize. Industrialization is driven by electricity and as we speak, we already have investors who are interested in restoring the Qua Steel. They need about 15 MW of power. They approached us and we have informed them that by the time they need the 15MW, we would have commissioned Unit 2, thus we will be able to meet their needs.

Right now, Phase 1 is able to meet the immediate needs but as these industries take shape, we are going to need much more power.  This is the reason Phase 2 is critical. The site work is currently in progress while all submissions have been made to NERC for license expansion to 685MW.  Therefore, we are a step ahead of the industrialists. We need to have sufficient power in the State in anticipation of the investors. His Excellency has given us the support. He is a man who understands the power sector very well.

Your last word for the people

Akwa Ibom people, pay your electricity bills. Do not allow assets  in your community to be vandalized. In terms of the bigger picture, pray for your Governor. Ask God to continue to lead him. Together, let us bring investors. Let us work with them, support and encourage them. Let them feel at home.  Continue to support ‘Mr. Right’. He is going to make the state a better place not only for us but for our generations yet unborn.

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Michael Dada is the media/publicity officer at Ibom Power Company Limited. He is a graduate of Journalism from Lagos State University School of Communication. He did internship at The Nation newspaper and Voice of Nigeria. He has a Digital Marketing Master Class certificate from Wild Fusion Digital and a certificate in WordPress web design from Spring Light Technology. He holds a Competence in Writing and Speaking certificate from the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University. He has a post-graduate certificate in Advanced Writing and Reporting Skills from the School of Media and Communication. He is an associate of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and an alumnus of Pan Atlantic University.

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