By Oke Peter
The Federal Government has said efforts to ensure steady power supply nationwide is being frustrated by terrorists who are vandalising critical power infrastructure in hard-to-reach areas, especially the North-East.
It said the damages had hindered the Transmission Company of Nigeria from extending power to the affected areas.
The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, disclosed this to State House correspondents while briefing on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. In September 2021, the Federal Government had estimated the cost of vandalised transmission equipment belonging to the TCN in Maiduguri, Borno State, at N1.7bn.
According to Aliyu, the transmission infrastructure is being vandalised after every effort to install new ones; forcing the government to resort to alternative but less efficient ways to supply electricity to affected areas in Maiduguri. He added that TCN officials could not access some vandalised power infrastructure in Shiroro, Niger State, as they are situated within terrorist strongholds.
Aliyu, however, noted that his ministry was working closely with security agencies to access such areas and begin new power projects.
Giving an on-the-ground detail of the vandalism, he said “We have a lot of challenges and it’s not that we are sleeping over them. We have vandalism on our lines, vandalism on our stations, substations. We have those ones that affect us indirectly, and directly. Like vandalism around oil pipelines which affect gas and once you don’t get gas to power, you don’t get the megawatts. Once there is no power coming from the generators, you know what that means.
The second memo, he said, is to “procure power transformers and associated spare parts for the TCN to be deployed to six locations as follows: One is to Aiyede in Oyo State to MSSRS T and D technologies Limited. Offshore component is $1.8m. The onshore is N98m.
“The second one is Gusau in Zamfara State, same project to MSSRS Basharri limited. The third one is Kankia in Katsina State, which is to enjoy the same project to be supplied by MSSRS Farmamade energy limited.
“The next one is Minna, Niger State is also to enjoy some projects with MSSRS Crossworld global technology limited. Then the fifth one is to go to Okearo in Ogun to enjoy the same transformer.”
The Minister said the total figure approved for the project amounted to $22,670,416.33 in offshore component and N5,141,924,927.2 in onshore component.