SPECIAL Adviser to the Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) on Public Utilities, Engr. Tunji Ariyomo, has enjoined staff of the Ondo State Electricity Board to embrace new result-oriented service mentality.
Ariyomo, who made the charge during his first meeting with the staff of the board, yesterday, explained that “this will enable us end the era of electricity being perceived as a luxury outside our grasp.”
While appreciating God and Governor Akeredolu for the opportunity to be of service in what he described as one of the key areas of challenges that the state is facing – epileptic electricity – he charged staff of the board to be ready to think differently and look beyond the state’s budgets for the kind of investment needed to kick-start and sustain the availability of electricity to more of our homes and businesses.
Ariyomo recalled: “The Ondo State Electricity Board (OSEB) was established in 1987. Between that time and today, a lot has happened. We all must however agree that we are far from the original goal of facilitating the availability of electricity for businesses and people of Ondo State.
“Between 1987 and now, a lot of reforms have been implemented in the nation’s electricity sub-sector that should ordinarily impact the roles of OSEB. The APC led national government for instance, through the Honourable Minister for Power has stridently reiterated that there is no constitutional limitation to state’s involvement in the entire electricity value chain (generation, transmission and local distribution) that is immutable or unassailable or without constitutionally sanctioned workarounds.”
He added that “Notwithstanding federal government’s favourable attitude to state’s involvement; finance, business environment and sector expertise are three of the most critical challenges that stand against active involvements of states of the federation. Thus, in taking due advantage of the disposition of the national government to state’s involvement, we as envoys of Arakunrin Akeredolu must be ready to think differently and look beyond the state’s budgets for the kind of investment needed to kick-start and sustain the availability of electricity to more of our homes and businesses.
“We all know Arakunrin Akeredolu very well by now. He will not promise what he will not deliver. It is therefore incumbent upon us as professionals to anchor the solution end of this bargain. We must justify our salaries. We must evolve clever solutions that can get electricity to more of our people. We must see electricity as an essential commodity that must be available to the masses, to businesses and to homes. We must end the era of electricity being perceived as a luxury outside our grasp.”
Ariyomo then commended the management and staff of the board for keeping faith and holding forth, saying, “I must commend past leaders of this agency. Between 1987 and today, we know as a matter of public knowledge that you have been responsible for most electrification projects in Ondo State. We are aware that your hard labour yielded most of the distribution networks in the 18 local governments. You deserve commendations.”
He promised to hold a devil’s advocacy workshop or interactive session where “we shall only critique our past and present methodologies. The goal is to hear from you first hand. Every staff will enjoy immunity so he or she can be free to express or air his or her mind. We want to know what we think we have been doing wrong. We should know what we must change. We must know new best practises we must adopt. Beyond my engineering colleagues, I will like to hear even from messengers, gatemen, clerks etc. We must find a way to embrace new result-oriented service mentality.”