In September 2019, the Oyo State Government embarked on the Light Up Oyo project. The logic behind this project was two-fold. First, to grow the Oyo State economy. As Governor Seyi Makinde stated, Oyo State cannot compete with cities that run a 24-hour economy if economic activities are shut down by 7 pm. Second, to tackle insecurity. Crime thrives in darkness. And so, when major parts of towns and cities are lit up, criminals will not have anywhere to hide.
For some time now, the Light-Up Oyo project has faced technical and sundry difficulties. This has led to the project not running optimally. In this post, we answer some of the questions the people of Oyo State have asked regarding the project and present a clear path to resolution ahead of Omituntun 2.0.
Is the Light-up Oyo project only for Ibadan?
As the name implies, the Light-Up Oyo project is billed to cover the entire state, not just Ibadan. At the moment, the project is covering 240 km of roads across the state.
Why is the Light Up Oyo project running on diesel?
The Light up Oyo project has a tribrid power system – the Oyo State 11MW Independent Power Project (IPP which is ongoing) as the main source of power and gas generators and inverters as a backup. Diesel generators were only used as a stop-gap measure because COVID-19 caused delays in supply chains. Also, the work to migrate from diesel generators to gas generators is ongoing.
Why were solar-powered lights not used instead of diesel generators?
LED technology streetlights are of better quality and give better illumination than solar-powered streetlights. The long-term plan is to move from diesel/inverter to gas/inverter and finally to the Oyo State IPP when that is set up next year.
Now that the Light-Up Oyo project is not working well with diesel, is the Oyo State Government going to switch to solar?
The Oyo State Government does not plan to switch this phase of the Light-Up Oyo Project to solar. The infrastructure and specification issues with the project are not tied to how the project is powered.
Why are the streetlights not coming on?
There is a dispute between Oyo State and the Contractor about how much work has been done and how the infrastructure is being operated. The Oyo State Government is also not comfortable with the infrastructure provided and its specifications. These have been causing operation and maintenance challenges. Also, we want to ensure that Oyo State gets maximum value for the money spent on this project. So, we have called for a review of the project.
When should we expect the issues around the Light Up Oyo project to be resolved?
The Oyo State Government is presently auditing the entire infrastructure to determine the level of work done. The audit process will be completed in about six weeks (from April 25, 2023), after which a report will be presented to the people of Oyo State regarding any decisions reached and the way forward.
When will the Light Up Oyo Project be completed and fully functional?
The Oyo State Government plans to deliver the full 240 km of the Light Up project on our roads before the end of the second year of Omituntun 2.0