Senate set to tackle transmission line vandalisation in North-East 

Sharon EboesomiMay 22, 20246 min

Senator Kaka Shehu Lawan lamented how some parts of the North East have been in darkness for 2 years. 

Senate set to tackle transmission line vandalisation in North-East 

As a means of addressing the the worrisome cases of transmission lines vandalisation in the North Eastern region of the country, the Senate has urged the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Power to as a matter of urgency allocate funds to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to address the faults along the Jos-Gombe, Gombe-Maiduguri and Maiduguri-Damaturu 330KV transmission line and restore power supply to affected areas, especially on all affected towers.

This is as it urged the Federal Ministry of Power to collaborate with security agencies and local vigilantes in host communities of TCN transmission lines to deter and prevent acts of vandalism.

This resolution followed the adoption of a motion on the urgent need to address the vandalisation of TCN transmission lines in the North East Region of Nigeria.

The sponsor of the motion, Senator Haruna Manu (PDP, Taraba Central) lamented over the vandalisation of critical electricity transmission infrastructure which, according to him, poses a significant threat to the economic prosperity, public health, safety, and security of the North-East region of Nigeria.

He stressed that the recent incidents of vandalisation along the Jos-Gombe 330KV transmission line have resulted in severe disruptions to power supply, affecting millions of residents, hospitals, commercial activities, communication networks, public safety, and the overall well-being of the people in Plateau, Gombe: Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Yobe, and Borno States.

The frequent vandalisation of transmission lines, especially the destruction of TCN towers, not only disrupts the electricity supply in the affected states but also compromises essential services such as healthcare and education. It also exacerbates insecurity issues, and imposes a heavy financial burden on public resources for the repair and replacement of infrastructural damages.

“The indirect effects of power outages on food production further strain the food inflation in the country, impacting the availability and affordability of agricultural products, particularly in the North East region, which is a major cultivator and producer.

“The proposed alternative transmission line route, namely the construction of the Makurdi-Jalingo 330KV transmission line, offers a viable solution to mitigate the risks of vandalisation and improved resilience and reliability of the electrical infrastructure in the region,” he added.

The lawmaker stressed that if an investment is made in alternative transmission routes and enhancing security measures, there will be high chances of safeguarding the well-being of the communities as well as promote economic stability, and ensure the reliable supply of  electricity for all residents and businesses.

READ ALSO: Rep Kure laments incessant outage of electricity in Niger state 

Speaking further, he said, “The Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) agreement between Nigeria and Germany aims to boost Nigeria’s power infrastructure by rehabilitating and expanding its electricity grid. It involves the construction of new power plants, upgrading existing ones, and improving transmission and distribution networks. Germany, through its development bank KfW, is providing financial and technical support for this initiative.

“It is profitable for the nation to enhance accessibility and affordability of high-quality power supply services to support these states and their citizens.”

Contributing to the motion, Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North) lamented over the worsening case of power outages on the region and called for justice.

He said, “In the late 90s, the  North Eastern part of Nigeria was categorised to be the poorest. The Electricity we get is nothing compared to what others get. Infact we want justice. We were promised mambila electricity. We need full, complete and total attention of the Federal Government. The North East Development Commission (NEDC) cannot attend to all these problems alone.”

Senator Danjuma Goje (PDP, Gombe Central) noted that for over a month the North Eastern region has been in darkness due to several cases of  transformer vandalisation. 

Up till now no result has come out. because of this there is no food, no water and as a result, health issues. This is associated with so many things including insecurity.”

In the same vein, Senator Kaka Shehu Lawan (APC, Borno Central) said, “Some part of the North East have had no light in the last 2 years. As we speak, government institutions like airport and schools are been run by generators.”

On his part, Senator Aliyu Wadada (SDP, Nasarawa West) said, “It should not only be confined to the North East. It is a general problem. You can barely achieve anything without electricity. This 10th Senate should be much more uncommon in addressing the electricity issues in the country. Nigeria has all the sources of power generation. If things like this continue, Nigerians will not appreciate the efforts of the government.”

Following the debates on the motion, the Senate resolved to urge the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to expedite the construction of the Makurdi-Jalingo 330KV transmission line, in alignment with the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP) and the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), to connect the North-East region to the South-East transmission network.

It further urged the Federal Government to make provisions for a special intervention fund for maintenance of the transmission lines.

Also, the Red Chamber called on the Federal Ministry of Power to implement the recommendations outlined in Sections 209, 210, 211, 212, and 213 of the Electricity Act 2023 to enhance the security of transmission infrastructure. 

STAR Check: Nigerians, particularly, constituents of Taraba Central district, can keep tabs on the legislative performance of Sen. Manu throughout the 10th senate here. 

Sharon Eboesomi

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