Damilola Shittu – Abuja
The Federal Government has ordered all contractors handling power projects across the country to return back to their various sites following the gradual relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, gave the order while inspecting the newly completed 2X60MVA 132/33KV substation in Gagarawa, Jigawa State, constructed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria.
He noted that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the power sector was severe, but said the contractors must return to work since the lockdown was being eased.
Mamman said, “I can tell you that the impact of the pandemic is huge in the power sector as a real service provider. However, we have joined the government’s effort to restart the economy with the easing of the lockdown.
“This includes the reopening of our interstate roads and as such, I direct all contractors handling power projects to return to sites and work assiduously to recover from the losses recorded during the lockdown.”
On the 2X60MVA 132/33KV substation in Gagarawa, the minister said the facility would boost power supply in over seven Local Government Areas, including an industrial area.
The Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, who joined the minister on the inspection, said the substation would increase the state’s revenue generation through the industrialisation of several communities.
According to him, the communities include Gagarawa, Ringim, Gumel, Taura and Mira.
He added that the substation would trigger the establishment of over 50 industries in the areas.
The contract for the substation, which was designed with two 60MVA, 132/33kV transformers of about 96 megawatts capacity and six outgoing 33kV feeders, was awarded in 2012 with an initial completion period of 24 months.
Work on the substation was put on hold by the contractors for a long time until the management of the TCN recently reviewed the contract in order to ensure its delivery.