FG Restrategizing As Vandalisation Of Power Assets Continues Unabated

The persistent vandalisation of power installations in the country, if not urgently checked could retard the efforts being made by the Federal Government to provide reliable power supply to households and businesses operating in Nigeria.

Soon after assumption of office, President Bola Tinubu expressed his commitment to the provision of improved power supply for the economic prosperity of the country.

Unfortunately, this tall dream is fast becoming a mirage with the unhindered vandalisation of power installations across the states of the federation.

This widespread menace occurs across various types of infrastructure, including power cables, transformers, and transmission towers.

Sources indicate that vandalism is a persistent and costly issue for the nation’s power infrastructure. For instance, it was reported that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) lost over N1.7 billion in 9 months to power asset vandalism in the northeast.

The ugly reality about this is that the money which was secured as loans from development partners like the World Bank, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), African Development Bank (AfDB), and Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) for the expansion of transmission infrastructure is now being used for repair of vandalised assets.

Transmission projects are capital-intensive and require reliable funding sources for their timely completion. TCN takes advantage of funds from Multilateral Agencies through loan support backed by the Federal Government of Nigeria to finance some of its projects.

These projects are executed by specialized units of the company called Project Management Units (PMUs). The first Project Management Unit (PMU) in TCN was created in 2003 as a requirement for World Bank (WB) credit.

The sole aim of the PMU is to ensure effective and efficient Management of projects following the Bank’s procedures and world best practices. TCN currently has four PMUs, one for a set of projects funded by a financing source.

These are: World Bank – Project Management Unit (PMU), USD486 million Nigeria Electricity Transmission Project, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) – Project Management Unit (PMU), USD170 million Abuja Transmission Project, Northern Corridor Project – $200 million, African Development Bank (AfDB) -Project Management Unit (PMU)
USD210 million Nigeria Transmission Expansion Project, Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) – Project Management Unit (PMU), USD235 million Lagos-Ogun Power Transmission Project.

Alarmed by the perennial problem of vandalism in the sector, the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu recently disclosed his commitment to work in collaboration with the National Security Adviser, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, and other security agencies to stem the tide.

Chief Adelabu said, the economic saboteurs must not be allowed to progress in their destructive venture, as more investments are expected in the sector.

The Minister said, the deliberate destruction of power installations across the country is an act of sabotage, consequently, should not be allowed to continue.

Narrating the experience since he assumed office, Adelabu said, “Something is happening that never happens anywhere in the world. Which is the deliberate destruction of our collective assets. Since I resumed, I have witnessed nothing less than eight deliberate destructions of our transmission power assets.

“People will decide to bring down transmission towers, bring down transmission lines. If you go back to fix it, before you leave, they will bring it down. Just yesterday it happened in Nasarawa and Yobe States. About five days ago it happened in Bauchi. Before the end of the year, it happened in Yobe.

“These are assets that we spent the country’s money on and our brothers deliberately sabotage it. So, you can see that some people are hiding somewhere who don’t want this sector to work. I am saying it confidently, but they are joking. We are not intimidated; we are not scared. We will confront them.

“We have started an investigation, and we have spoken with the NSA to provide security for our power installations. Anywhere you have major demolition or destruction of power lines, it will lead to grid collapse.

“Some people went to an injection substation and deliberately burnt down two transformers. That is an act of sabotage. We can’t fight it alone. It must be fought collectively”, he said.

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