By Nkechi Isaac
Just like the popular saying that life is light, overtime people have understood the importance of light in making life more meaningful. Not only does light make life easier, brings joy and lights up mood, it also serves as a security tool to wade off bad elements from perpetuating criminality
The linkage between darkness and insecurity was the crux of the meeting between the Imo State governor, Sen. Hope Uzodinma and the management of the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) when he paid a working visit on the commission’s Director-General, Professor Eli Bala in his office in Abuja recently.
Addressing the top management team of the commission, Uzodinma said energy has a role to play in bringing sanity to the insecurity currently ravaging the nation.
“The situation in Nigeria today is very pathetic ranging from the global pandemic to insecurity in the north-east, high crime rate in the south-east, south-south and south-west. In other words, national security problem is not a job that should be left for security agencies alone.
From what I have seen and the mandate I just saw about Energy Commission of Nigeria, I want to also see you as a security agency because without light, without energy, there would be no security anywhere in the world,” he said.
He told his hosts that his visit was to establish a technical cooperation with the commission with a view to facilitating the development of energy resource and lighten up Imo.
“Part of the purpose for my visit today, I met a state in Imo State that is very dark even with all the efforts of the security agencies, because the state is not properly lit up, criminals and crimes abound here and there. So I have come for an advice and possible recommendation that will enable my government confront the security challenges in Imo State. I cannot do this alone when opportunities like this exists. I know that going forward, I will be in constant touch
Director-general, ECN, Professor Eli Jidere Bala formally presents the National Energy Policy document and other publications to the governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma during his (Uzodinma) visit to the commission, recently.with the director-general because he is a man I have seen that can perform if given the tools.
“We will work hand in hand to solicit for support from other agencies of government to encourage Energy Commission of Nigeria to operate at maximum level. Maybe we can come up with a policy that will light up urban centers in the country before we get to the rural centers so that crime rate will come down, citizenship motivation will come up, economy will be stimulated, people will go about their businesses without fear of any molestation.
“That will go a long way to not only boost the morale of the Federal Government but the entire citizenry. I also want to see this organization as a platform to connect the country to the international platforms of all the global agencies so listed.
“There are also international funds that can be accessed if properly
guided to understand the protocol and I think working with you, we will be able to be guided properly so that we can benefit from such global intervention for the general benefit of our people. So I think the wisdom of ECOWAS in recommending member- countries to set up energy commission will be justified if the impact of the derivatives from the commission can get to the citizenry in a manner that it will be more pronounced, more visible and very well felt by all of us. I think I have come for help and the DG in his usual magnanimity will oblige me and my people will see the significance of my visit very soon in Imo State. I thank the DG and his team and to formally inform you that I want to be your partner however you want it,” he added.
Earlier, while welcoming the governor, Bala explained that the commission was established in 1989 after the meeting of the heads of ECOWAS in 1982 in Cotonou, where a resolution was made that each member- state should establish an agency to be called energy commission charged with the responsibilities of coordinating and supervising all energy functions and activities of each member- state
He pointed out that the commission has the mandate to advise the Federal Government or state governments on questions relating to such aspects of energy as the federal government or a state, may from time to time refer to it; inquire into and advise the federal government or state governments on the adequate funding of the energy sector including research and development, production and distribution, as well as to liaise with all international organizations on energy matters such as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), World Energy Council (WEC), IRENA, AFREC, UNDP, UNIDO, UK-DECC, IEC, AREI and other similar organizations.
“I want to assure you that we will continue to live up to expectations for the benefit of the citizens of this country and certainly what you requested for is part of our responsibility and I want to say categorically that we will work very closely with you and your government to ensure that your request and the needs of the people of Imo State and other economic activities are met in respect of energy as an instrument for security.
“We will certainly make available all avenues, international connections that we have that will benefit Imo State. We will keep in touch and form a team, and we will suggest representatives from your side to work with us and evolve strategies on how to deal with these issues as they arise.
As long as I am here, we will continue to maintain good working relationship with your government,” he added.