The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his government has completed the construction of 61km of streetlights out of the 200km planned to light up the Benin metropolis, noting that the project is being extended to other parts of the state.
The governor said this while commissioning about 10km of street lights and the Independent Power Project (IPP) in New Benin, Oredo Local Government Area of the State.
Obaseki noted that the state government is illuminating the city to enhance security and recreate the night economy in the metropolis.
The governor was accompanied on the commissioning by his Chief of Staff, Hon. Osaigbovo Iyoha and the Functioning Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Electricity, Engr. Victor Osagbouwa Obanor, among other top government functionaries.
He said, “Today, we have done about 61km and I want to make sure I cover and complete 200km before leaving office. This would mean covering most metropolitan Benin cities. We would also go to Edo Central and Edo North and where we can't get electricity, we would use solar systems.
“The plan is to make sure that we illuminate our cities and extend the economic life of our cities so that instead of sleeping at 8 pm and shutting for the day, businesses will be extended by another three or more hours. They will rather continue trading at night instead of closing when it gets dark. We are extending the time of businesses as it will boost the economic life in the metropolis.”
Obaseki added, “We also want to secure our cities as we eliminate darkness from our cities as electricity is key in improving security and reducing criminality. We will continue to spread street lights across cities in the State at night and not create too many dark spots for criminals to operate at night.
"For manufacturers, they will have stable light for production, especially those in Cottage industries as they spend time producing at night. Also, those that have cooling and storage businesses, will have light to preserve their goods and agricultural produce.”
“We are very serious with this project of electrification and extending electricity to homes and streets. It's very expensive but we just have to continue for the benefit of our people. We would do all to develop the state,” Obaseki reassured.
On his part, Obanor said the commissioned projects include street lights on Mission Road, from Ring Road to Ewa Road Junction, measuring 3.5Km; Second East Circular, from Sapele Road to Akpakpava which is 3.2Km, and New Lagos Road, from Akpakpava to Uselu Shell, 3.15km.
While commending the governor’s commitment to the welfare of Edo people, the Permanent Secretary urged residents to complement the government’s efforts by jealously guarding the facilities.
Speaking on behalf of New Benin Community chiefs, Wilfred Obaseki commended the governor for bringing light to the community, which he noted, will certainly transform into development as traders will now stay more selling their goods at night without fear of being robbed.