IPP power plant will further gulp N200b ―Okowa

THE controversial multi-billion Independent Power Plant (IPP) project in Oghara, Delta State, will further gulp N200 billion before it can come on stream, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has disclosed.

Okowa, who underscored the significance of the project, stated that in spite of the situation, adequate power supply was required to boost the socio-economic life of the people.

The governor disclosed this on Wednesday at a town hall meeting at Oghara and Sapele in Ethiope West and Sapele local government areas of the state.

Governor Okowa disclosed that with the economic realities of the country, it would be difficult for the state to solely sponsor the IPP project.

“We have to study the project; if I tell you that it will be functional during my administration, I will be telling you lies.

“A lot have been done, but we have done the calculation and it is obvious that we cannot execute the project as a state for now because the project will gulp over N200 billion,” he noted.

He, however, added that “there are two options; either we enter into private partnership with the private sector or to outright sell the IPP to the private sector so that it can make the project functional, so as to create jobs for our people and other benefits derivable.”

The governor also used the occasion to clarify issues concerning funding in the state, asserting that with the country, officially in recession, revenue to the Federal Government and other tiers of government was affected.

“We will continue to do the best we can even with the challenging times and we will continue to remain focused,” he noted.

Governor Okowa was accompanied to the town hall meeting as well as other events by former Governor James Ibori, his Deputy, Mr Kingsley Otuaro and other top government functionaries.