The Federal Executive Council has approved N1.4bn for the supply of equipment for the Transmission Company of Nigeria, to boost power supply nationwide.
The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu disclosed this to State House correspondents after Wednesday’s Council meeting presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
He said, “I presented two memos from the ministry of power for the Transmission Company of Nigeria. The first one was a variation of the sum of a contract for 132/33 KV substation at Kafanchan, Kaduna State with a KV line base extension at Jos substation, in Plateau State. This is in the sum of N132,705, 861.42.
“The second memo was for the supply of handling equipment, haulage, and operational vehicles for the TCN at N1,338,159,080. 88.
“They are heavy-lifting equipment that the TCN requires for doing its work in the store and on the field, while changing equipment and moving transformers, and the council graciously approved.”
He blamed the ongoing challenges bedeviling the power sector, including the frequent grid collapse, on acts of sabotage by some elements who do not mean well for Nigerians.
The minister said the incidents, which include attacks and abduction of expatriates working on various power projects, had delayed the completion of some projects.
Other attacks on electrical installations, he said, have led to blackouts in parts of the country.
He lamented that these acts have robbed the country of foreign investors, appealing to Nigerians to join the federal government in foiling these moves.
He said, “You’re all aware this country is facing a lot of challenges. It’s not only in the power sector alone, you have just heard about the insecurity. The railway and the communities are being attacked. They’re all similar things, including the power sector.
“You can call it sabotage because, how can somebody go and pull down a 330MW tower to cause this havoc to the whole country. What do you call that?
“Not quite long, on January 4, the project that we had announced that we’re going to commission, the Zungeru, 700MW hydro, which is at present over 92 per cent completion, we’re just doing little touches to commission the project.
“There was an attack on January 4 this year and they abducted the Chinese workers and up till now, they’re still in their captivity. The Chinese cannot return to work until they get their brothers out.”
He called on Nigerians to cooperate with the government to forestall the attacks.
“So, we believe they are all working together, just as the Minister of Information said.
“So, we need to also work together as a nation to support the leadership, to support the government, to face these challenges together. Any support you can give, give that support”, he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, noted that acts of sabotage like these were suffered by all Nigerians.
“What the Minister of Power is saying is that it’s not really about inefficiency or not caring on the part of the government, but that citizens also have a role to play in this. I don’t know anywhere in the world where people will go and vandalize power stations or they go to the roads and take the railings from the road to go and smelt and make into spoons and aluminum.”